2017 Preview by Elizabeth Roe

2017 promises to be a jam-packed year: concerts nationwide and abroad; exciting projects for the National YoungArts Foundation, the Joye in Aiken Festival, and The Cliburn; various premieres and collaborations; and new music videos in the works. Watch this space for the latest announcements, and visit the Calendar for details on upcoming tour dates.

End-of-2016 highlights:

Legendary conductor Leonard Slatkin & pianist Elizabeth Joy Roe backstage at Powell Hall 

Legendary conductor Leonard Slatkin & pianist Elizabeth Joy Roe backstage at Powell Hall 

Barber Concerto with St. Louis & Slatkin by Elizabeth Roe

Elizabeth has been asked to serve as a last-minute replacement for Olga Kern with the St. Louis Symphony under the direction of Maestro Leonard Slatkin in the Barber Piano Concerto for three concerts this weekend (November 11-13). Slatkin and St. Louis have a legendary connection to Samuel Barber's epic, Pulitzer Prize-winning concerto—25 years ago they recorded it with the great American pianist John Browning (who premiered the Concerto in 1962 for the opening of Lincoln Center), an album that would win a Grammy Award. Synchronistically, Elizabeth gave her first performances of this concerto as a last-minute replacement for Browning in subscription concerts with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra in 2003 (which the Delaware News Journal pronounced as "[a]stonishing [...] Elizabeth Joy Roe, a winner of international competitions and only 21, came to Wilmington and brought an audience to its feet with stunning performances at the three Delaware Symphony concerts. It was a musical moment to treasure"). Elizabeth herself has recorded the concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra for Decca Classics.

Saturday night's concert will be streamed live on St. Louis Public Radio; catch the broadcast at 8 PM Central time.

Washington Post review, radio & more by Elizabeth Roe

October continued to be jam-packed, with concerts spanning the United States. Elizabeth had another concerto collaboration with conductor Michael Butterman, giving a repeat performance of the Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini and the Poulenc Double Concerto (with piano duo partner Greg Anderson), this time with the Shreveport Symphony. The Anderson & Roe Piano Duo also joined Maestro Butterman for a preview interview with Louisiana's Red River Radio.

During Anderson & Roe's visit to Colorado earlier in October, they stopped by Colorado Public Radio's studio for an interview and live performance; watch below:

Anderson & Roe closed out the month with two concerts (in Washington, DC, and New York City) celebrating Halloween, centering on their own fiercely virtuosic arrangement of Danse Macabre. Anne Midgette, classical music critic at the Washington Post, reviewed the National Gallery recital, proclaiming:

Anderson and Roe {...] are the very model of complete 21st-century musicians. They fuse classical and pop music into a blend of high artistry and skillful entertainment; they write informative program notes; they talk to the audience from the stage, passing the mic back and forth. That they are crack pianists goes without saying.

Read the rest of the review here.

***FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Elizabeth's recording of the complete Field Nocturnes is up for Grammy Award consideration on the 2017 ballot. Members of the Recording Academy: please vote!

Boulder Philharmonic Opening Weekend + latest press by Elizabeth Roe

The 2016-2017 concert season is off to an eventful start, from season-opening orchestral performances (in Chicago and Boulder) to venue-opening recitals (at the Mondavi Center and the University of Iowa). Elizabeth just appeared as concerto soloist in Rachmaninoff's beloved Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini plus the Poulenc Double Concerto (alongside piano duo partner Greg Anderson) with the Boulder Philharmonic and conductor Michael Butterman for the orchestra's opening weekend (see review and preview articles below). This month is chock-full of concerts across the country, from Santa Barbara to Washington, DC; check the calendar for the latest details.

Anderson & Roe with Maestro Michael Butterman after performing two concerti with the Boulder Philharmonic

Anderson & Roe with Maestro Michael Butterman after performing two concerti with the Boulder Philharmonic

September: Sinfonietta, Stereophile, SFCV by Elizabeth Roe

The Anderson & Roe Piano Duo opened the Chicago Sinfonietta's concert season with "Unhinged": a jam-packed piano-centric extravaganza, featuring the Poulenc Double Concerto, Stravinsky's complete Petrushka, Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," and a brand new arrangement of Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" for two pianos and orchestra. Check out a preview of the concert on WGN TV as well as the Chicago Tribune review here.

An in-depth profile of Elizabeth is featured in the San Francisco Classical Voice:

"...Onstage I do feel a heightened version of myself, one that is brave and passionate, and that’s really just open. In an odd way, I feel that music leads me to accept and to honor the person I really am."

Read the complete interview with Mark MacNamara here: Elizabeth Roe: The Executor of Risk

In album news, Elizabeth's John Field: Complete Nocturnes received a glowing review in Stereophile; it was granted 5 STARS for both the performance and sonics.

This CD barely needs a review. What Franz Liszt said of the 18 Nocturnes of John Field (1782-1837) will do: “No one has revived...these half-sighs of the breezes, plaintive wailings, ecstatic moanings.” But I have an addendum: These Nocturnes adhere to no specific form, but are, rather, short, exquisitely melodic meditations on, mostly, sadness. They’re not lugubrious—Field was too interested in beauty for that—but neither are they as florid, filled with angst, or harmonically complex as Chopin’s. This is not a criticism—as you’ll realize when you hear this disc, which I recommend you do.

If Field’s Nocturnes have a format, one might say that in most, particularly the early ones, the left hand plays ostinato (a repeated phrase/rhythm) while the right hand tends to the melodic content—sometimes straightforward, more often fascinatingly chromatic. The overall mellowness doesn’t result in boredom: No. 3’s rocking ostinato often includes unexpected dissonances; No. 4 rambles harmonically, and has a quite intense, unexpected period about halfway through. It also requires some amazingly acrobatic right-hand fingerwork. No. 5’s melody sounds oddly like a Schubert song. No. 16 is on a large scale—at 9 1/2 minutes, it’s twice as long and complicated as most. No. 17 could be by Mozart.

Crammed onto this single CD (look at the total timing!) is every Nocturne Field wrote. Perhaps one can take only so much beauty. But play a few at a time and wonder at Roe’s divine lyricism and phrasing. These works deserve to be better known.
— Robert Levine, Stereophile (September 2016)