2009 / by Elizabeth Roe

December 23, 2009

Elizabeth recently returned from Washington, DC, where she gave a benefit concert for the Esperanza Education Fund. She had a marvelous time and is happy to report that over $10,000 were raised for scholarships to be awarded to promising immigrant students. Read more about the event here: http://www.esperanzafund.org/2009/12/23/at-the-carnegie-with-elizabeth-joy-roe/

Here are photos from the event: http://eventosvippass.com/2009/12/benefit-concert-the-esperanza-education-fund/

Warmest wishes to everyone for a joyous holiday season and a healthy, happy, peaceful New Year!

December 15, 2009

Please join Elizabeth in supporting the Esperanza Education Fund's quest for education equality. Read the official press release here.

December 3, 2009

On December 17, Elizabeth will present a benefit concert at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, DC, to raise scholarship funds for a very worthy organization, the Esperanza Education Fund. Read more about this event here.

November 25, 2009

Elizabeth has just returned from Germany where she had a recording session for her first commercial solo album release. The album will be released in 2010. Forthcoming details will be posted on this space.

During the first half of December, Elizabeth will perform chamber music and solo music in New York City and Washington, DC. On the educational side, she will co-lead a professional development workshop for The Academy—a Program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute. Additionally, she will wrap up her first semester of teaching at Smith. 

Also, check out this positive review of the November 6 Smith College Rachmaninoff Centennial Celebration concert.

November 4, 2009

Last night, the Anderson and Roe Piano Duo performed Beethoven's legendarily thorny Grosse Fuge in the composer's own four-hand version at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall; ConcertoNet.com wrote: "the famed duo of Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe played the dynamic two-piano fugue variations, with all the tremolos and martial spirit needed." 

On Friday evening, Elizabeth will join forces with pianist Judith Gordon, her Smith faculty colleague, on the stage of Sweeney Concert Hall at Smith College. They will perform Rachmaninoff's Second Suite for Two Pianos on the first of two evenings dedicated to the centennial of Rachmaninoff's historic visit to Smith. Read more about this special celebration here.

October 31, 2009

Instead of trick-or-treating, come join Elizabeth at the Kennedy Center for a spectacle of colorful—and yes, frightening—piano music: Anne Midgette at theWashington Post mentions this event on her "Halloween Planner."

October 26, 2009

Last night Elizabeth commemorated the bicentennial of Mendelssohn's birthyear by performing his beloved Piano Concerto in G minor with the Ars Viva Symphony. John von Rhein, classical music critic at The Chicago Tribune, included this concert in his list of highlights of the opening season for classical music.

The Chicago Classical Review gave an enthusiastic review of the concert, including this commentary on her performance: 

"The most familiar part of the program was Mendelssohn’s First Piano Concerto, as spirited and irresistible a burst of youthful musical vivacity as exists in the repertoire. Elizabeth Joy Roe made her debut with Ars Viva as a teenager a decade ago, and her scintillating rendition of Mendelssohn’s concerto was a highlight of the concert. Roe brought ample bravura to the knuckle-busting outer movements as well as conveying the lyric tenderness, with a musing, Impressionistic quality in the transition to the Andante."

Dorothy Andries at the Pioneer Press also wrote a rave review:

"The afternoon opened with Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1, with Elizabeth Joy Roe as soloist. Roe is a Glenview native, graduate of Glenbrook South High School, who 10 years ago at age 17 played with Ars Viva as the winner of the Steinway Competition. In the ensuing decade she attended The Juilliard School on full scholarship, earning both a bachelor's and master's degree in piano performance. She remained in New York City, concertizing regularly there and throughout the country and is now a Visiting Artist and Professor at Smith College in Massachusetts. 

"Her bravura technique was evident from the first flurry of notes, but she also had a delightful ease at the piano. At one moment she could have been in a fierce piano competition, but then as the mood softened, her manner suggested that she was in a parlor, playing for music-loving friends.

"She watched Heatherington carefully, and their synergy was palpable. He told the audience in advance that this was his favorite piano concerto and he appeared to smile though the whole piece. Roe stretched the tempos in her solo passages, giving a sensitive, heartfelt performance.

"The slender, sparkling gown worn by soloist Elizabeth Joy Roe must be mentioned [...] It was as dazzling as her work at the keyboard."

Elizabeth had a wonderful time performing for the hometown crowd, and she is now gearing up for her solo recital at the Kennedy Center on Halloween.

October 18, 2009

'Tis the season for concerts! Elizabeth makes orchestral, solo, and collaborative appearances in Chicago, DC, NYC, and Northampton over the next couple weeks. See the schedule for details and links.

In the meantime, check out these two links previewing her upcoming performance with the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra: 

1) A feature article

2) An interview featured on the Ars Viva website, previewing her October 25 concerto performance:

A personal interview with soloist Elizabeth Joy Roe

Elizabeth, when did you start piano lessons and when did you realize that music would be your career? I started lessons when I was six years old, and I fell in love with the piano immediately. I knew by age ten that I wanted to pursue a life in music.

What do you remember most about performing with Ars Viva 10 years ago?Performing with Ars Viva was a definitive experience in my career because it potently contributed to my passion for concerto playing. Plus, the concert took place at a pivotal juncture in my life: right before my high school graduation (in fact, I think it was prom weekend!) and just a few months before I left Chicago to start college at The Juilliard School. It was a beautiful spring evening, and I remember feeling truly inspired and exhilarated onstage, thanks to the orchestra's spectacular musicianship, Maestro Heatherington's marvelous direction at the podium, and Chopin's exquisite music (the Concerto in F minor). I was also very happy to be performing for the hometown crowd! Looking back, this concert was the perfect capstone of my high school years as well as a promising harbinger of things to come.

What is it about the Mendelssohn Concerto that you particularly like? I love the immediacy and variety of moods in this piece. Within only 20 minutes, the music covers a vast territory of emotional states: it alternates between the impetuous and passionate, the poetic and intimate, the playful and joyous. I think these shifts are emblematic of human nature in all its inconstancy! Plus, Mendelssohn possessed such a natural, effortless gift for music, and the concerto's virtuosic piano writing and brilliant interplay between piano and orchestra attest to his compositional verve.

Who is your favorite concert artist? What a difficult question! So many artists from the past and present have influenced me. If I had to choose the performers of today whom I find particularly inspirational, I would say Martha Argerich, Renee Fleming, Valery Gergiev, Gustavo Dudamel, and Yo-Yo Ma. But again, I am merely scraping the surface!

What music do you like to listen to? Classical, of course, but I like to listen to all sorts of music. I am a lifelong fan of The Beatles, and I have an affinity for British bands and artists in general (like Radiohead and Coldplay). In terms of genres, I lean mostly toward alternative/indie rock, but I also listen to pop, jazz, folk, soundtracks, etc. Basically, I love to explore music in all its diversity -- I believe that good music transcends labels!

What do you like to do in your spare time? One of my favorite things to do is to sit in a cafe with a pot of tea and a really good book! In addition to reading, I enjoy traveling, watching movies, exploring museums, savoring nature, writing, drawing, learning languages, going on the occasional karaoke outing, and spending quality time with family and friends. I wish there were more time in the day to pursue all my interests, but to be truthful, eating well and catching up on sleep are the most essential activities!

August 18, 2009

The website is back and running—thank you all for your patience! Since the March update, Elizabeth has been keeping very busy. Here are highlights of the past few months: she played a pivotal role as performer and educator in the successful inaugural run of the Juilliard in Aiken Festival; performed the Barber Concerto with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; concertized with her duo partner Greg in Brookings, Spokane, New York City, Nyack, Milwaukee, Portland, and Washington, DC; released a couple new duo music videos; attended the wedding of one of her best friends in Salt Lake City; and moved to Massachusetts to start a new job at Smith College. An even more eventful fall awaits—stay tuned for (more frequent!) updates on this space and throughout the site.

June 2, 2009

Portland International Piano Festival

Washington International Piano Festival

Positive review on Twitter: "Pianist Elizabeth Joy Roe electrified the crowd at the 6th 'Juilliard in Aiken' concert this week. Brilliant, articulate, passionate."

Juilliard Journal article (with photo of Elizabeth's recital) about the Juilliard in Aiken Festival

The Juilliard Journal's 2008-2009 "Year in Review" Photo Slideshow: Photo 17

March 9, 2009

This week, Elizabeth joins the American Brass Quintet, Biava String Quartet, Juilliard Jazz Ensemble, and other members of the Juilliard community for a special residency in Aiken, SC. She will present a solo recital, give a master class to high school students, and perform with the Biava Quartet. Please visit the official Juilliard in Aiken website for more information.

January 29, 2009

Elizabeth performs as soloist with the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra on February 7. She will also give a master class on February 6. Here is an article previewing her appearance: http://tinyurl.com/ah3vad

Also, tonight Elizabeth reunites with Ensemble ACJW in Carnegie Hall's Making Music series: she will perform on celesta and keyboard in a program devoted to Hungarian composer and conductor Peter Eötvös. For more information on tonight's event in Zankel Hall, please click here.