2007 by Elizabeth Roe

December 3, 2007

Elizabeth will be broadcast on NPR's "Performance Today" this coming Wednesday, December 5. Check out the official "Performance Today" website for more information. The show will feature Elizabeth's Smetana performance from her Lincoln Center solo recital debut last April.

November 4, 2007

Elizabeth's October 26 recital in the Ravinia Festival's high-profile Rising Stars Series was a hit with the Chicago audience and critics. Here is the review that appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times:

"The stars must have been in perfect alignment because last weekend three amazing concerts delighted classical music lovers fortunate enough to hear them [....] Friday night in the Ravinia Festival's Bennett-Gordon Hall in Highland Park, pianist Elizabeth Joy Roe, Glenview native and Juilliard grad presented a stunning recital on the Rising Star series, marking her as one of the most individualistic and talented young performers today.

"The Rising Stars at Ravinia series can be a mixed bag, but Oct. 26 we saw real star power. Pianist Elizabeth Joy Roe, who performed with the Ars Viva Orchestra and the Chicago Philharmonic while still at Glenbrook South High School, has grown up beautifully. She knows the power of presentation and wore a glamorous silver and blue sequined gown that suggested a mermaid.

"Her program was anything but ethereal. Her first selection was John Corigliano's Etude Fantasy, with an opening movement for the left hand alone. The work began with booming bass and proceeded in strange and alien paths. When at last two hands were employed, the notes fairly flew from her fingers. Her powerful technique never failed and her skill was as dazzling as her gown that sparkled in the spotlight. Brahms' Sonata No. 2 in F-sharp Minor returned to traditional harmonies, but it was no less demanding, Roe's delicate touch was as winning as her forceful evocations.

"Three lively, charming polkas by Smetana suggested both Debussy and Chopin. A pianist this powerful had to play Liszt, in this case, his piano arrangement of Wagner's 'Isoldens Liebestod.' I've heard orchestras that haven't done the original as well. 

"Her final number was Ravel's turbulent 'La valse,' well suited to her highly individualistic approach to the keyboard art. The cheering audience coaxed two encores -- Rimsky-Korsakov's showy 'Flight of the Bumble Bee' and Roe's own glistening arrangement of Gershwin's 'The Man I Love.' Pieces from the past, made new by this impressive 21st century artist."

Elizabeth thanks her wonderful audience for making this a night to remember.

October 12, 2007

Ensemble ACJW's opening concert (October 10) of the 2007-2008 season at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall was a huge success! Elizabeth performed Bright Sheng's Four Movements for Piano Trio and Bartok's Contrasts. Anthony Tommasini, head music critic of The New York Times, responded with a glowing review of the performances. Read the official New York Times review here.

Elizabeth also receives special recognition in a review entitled "Bracing Entertainment at Carnegie Hall" by Susan Elliot at Musical America:

"In Bright Sheng’s Four Movements for Piano Trio, western instruments offer eastern timbres, with both violin and cello using overtones and surface scratchiness to emulate Chinese instruments like the ehru, and the piano gently trilling in the background – at least in the outer movements. Elsewhere, this is a robust, agitated and virtuosic outing, played here with appropriately tumultuous attack, rhythmic punch and sterling ensemble work. When the excellent pianist Elizabeth Joy Roe reached inside the instrument to pluck a lower string, the simultaneity with cellist Claire Bryant’s bow stroke was stunning. Young artists performing works of their time – what could be better?"

A photograph of Elizabeth with her Bright Sheng trio colleagues Anna Elashvili (violinist) and Claire Bryant (cellist) performing at Weill Recital Hall appeared in a New York Sun article about The Academy.

Speaking of Elizabeth and her Bright Sheng trio, they were lauded as giving "a near definitive reading" of the work in an Albany Times Union review of their performance at Skidmore College.

October 3-6, 2007

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY—Elizabeth is involved in a residency with The Academy—A Program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and The Weill Music Institute at Skidmore College. She and her colleagues have a full schedule of rehearsals, coachings, performances, and various activities with Skidmore students. In addition, Elizabeth will be a featured speaker in Friday evening's pre-concert lecture. Find out more about the Ensemble ACJW's residency here.

September 28-30, 2007

Elizabeth will be performing at the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, held at the Trail's End Conference and Retreat Center in Beach Lake, PA. This reunion weekend promises to be jampacked with fascinating talks and forums, exciting performances and presentations, a plethora of outdoor activities, and just happy camaraderie with extraordinary people!

September 17, 2007

Elizabeth starts Year 2 of The Academy. A busy year of performance, teaching, and outreach awaits.

September 6, 2007

Elizabeth and duo partner Greg Anderson will be the highlighted performers at a Steinway extravaganza! Steinway & Sons is launching a new line of concert attire for men, and the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo will be there to help celebrate this event. Elizabeth & Greg will appear as the featured soloists at the release party, performing their four-hand staples for this star-studded event at New York City's Steinway Hall.

September 5, 2007

The Anderson & Roe Piano Duo will be involved in The Juilliard School's opening festivities by performing Beethoven's four-hand arrangement of his legendary Grosse Fuge at the school's Convocation. Last year, Juilliard made headlines by acquiring the recently-discovered manuscript of this four-hand version; it is one of the most exceptional finds of recent times.

August 28-31, 2007

Elizabeth revisits South America for an artistic residency sponsored by the US Embassy in Argentina. She gave solo recitals at the Teatro Argentino in La Plata and the Isaac Fernando Blanco Museum in Buenos Aires as well as a master class at the Beethoven Conservatory. Find out more about her terrific trip here.

August 9, 2007

Elizabeth gives a solo recital at the Shandelee Music Festival in the Catskill Mountains to tremendous success; read the rave review here or read it below:

"Livingston Manor — World-class is the best way to describe Elizabeth Joy Roe's solo piano performance before a capacity audience at the Shandelee Musical Festival. She won her first grand prize in international piano competition in Italy at age 13, and her concert Thursday night only confirmed the many rave reviews the twentysomething artist continued to earn both here and abroad.

"Remarkable, indeed, was the tour de force technique she displayed as well as maturity in the interpretation of style. From baroque to contemporary and all periods in between, she captured the psyches of all six composers with effect and conviction. 

"In opening her concert with Bach's Prelude in B Minor, an Alexander Siloti arrangement of an earlier J.S. Bach work, Roe easily reflected the tender mood of the piece with a combination of gracefully arpeggiated chords and flowing melody in opposing hands.

"But as tasty as Bach's appetizer was, it was Etude Fantasy (1976) by John Corigliano that began a series of main courses. 

"Composed of five etudes in different guises, this challenging piece found this phenom running through a plethora of techniques including rippling trills at the top, thundering tremolos in the bass, glissandos in between, cascading passages, crashing chords following moments of tranquility and, in the very end, a floating fadeout.

"Especially prominent, visually as well as aurally, was her engaging performance of 'Isoldens Liebstod,' a piano reduction in which Wagner's Isolde grieves over a dead Tristan. With a combination of closed eyes and slight body movements as well as deep-down expressive playing and Wagnerian ebb-and-flow dynamics, the actor-in-the-pianist reflected the anguish and pain of Isolde by remaining motionless even after she had finished playing.

"The Juilliard grad paid homage to fellow alum Ryan Anthony Francis with a definitive performance of his 'Consolations (2004).' As in Corigliano's composition, this introspective work reflects the gamut of moods from rampaging passages to some hymnal moments.

"Completing the heart of the menu was a scintillating performance by Roe in Ravel's 'La Valse,' a presentation whose techniques included rapid rolling patterns, glissandos and even an occasional blur of hands — although, by contrast, she also managed balletic sweep of hands in the release of lyrical passages. 

"For encore dessert, her glittering as well as juicy interpretation of Gershwin's 'The Man I Love' would have made Liberace proud."

Marcus Kalipolites for the Times Herald-Record (August 11, 2007)

August 2007

Elizabeth has been busy recording, performing, preparing for upcoming concerts and travels, and simply enjoying the remainder of the summer. Be sure to check out her blog for more details on her whereabouts, activities, and thoughts.

June 20-23, 2007

Elizabeth performs at the Gina Bachauer International Piano Festival in Salt Lake City with her piano duo partner, Greg Anderson. Check out commentary and photos of her excursion to Utah here.

June 2007

Elizabeth ends Phase 1 of The Academy—A Program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and The Weill Music Institute on a high note. On June 9 Elizabeth and her ACJW colleagues delivered a riveting concert at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, eliciting kudos from Steve Smith of The New York Times: "The performers who played in Zankel Hall on Saturday night were among the brightest, most promising postgraduate musicians the city has to offer ... That these exciting players could be the new face of classical music for New York schoolchildren is a welcome development, and all the more reason to provide both players and newly minted concertgoers with a sense of how alluring and invigorating the concert experience can be ... These performers have the musical goods [and] played all of these works with consummate skill and compelling verve."

On June 11 Elizabeth and duo partner Greg Anderson gave a special presentation for her elementary school students at the Abigail Adams School in Queens, PS 131Q. Elizabeth and Greg performed two mini-concerts for the entire school, thrilling both kids and teachers alike. June 15 was Elizabeth's final day of teaching until the fall. She wishes her dear students a restful and fun summer break!

May 2007

On May 20 Elizabeth and duo partner Greg Anderson presented a performance at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Sponsored by PianoArts of Milwaukee, the concert was set up cabaret-style: Elizabeth and Greg performed on a theater stage equipped with microphones and atmospheric lighting and surrounded by tables for the attendees. The duo pulled out all the stops and gave the premiere of their extensive and wildly creative "New Depiction of the Carnival of the Animals."

Just four days later, Elizabeth performed the Bartok Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion with pianist Michael Mizrahi and percussionists Jared Soldiviero and John Ostrowski in New York. Although the group only had three rehearsals beforehand on this famously difficult work, everyone had a fantastic time onstage!

April 19, 2007

Elizabeth gave her successful Lincoln Center recital debut as the 2007 winner of the William Petschek Piano Debut Recital Award, performing an ambitious program for a full house. The playbill also featured Elizabeth's own program notes. Read her very own article previewing the recital in The Juilliard Journal.