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 

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!

Summer press roundup by Elizabeth Roe

Elizabeth's latest album of the complete Field Nocturnes is continuing to receive accolades:

Classical Ear:

5 STARS ... Elizabeth Joy Roe is revealed as an intelligently expressive, deeply nuanced advocate. In one nimbly graceful performance after another she lifts Field’s music out of the long, twilit shadows of Chopin’s later assumption of the nocturne to make substantial and persuasive claims for their own manners and merits. There’s much to enjoy in playing of liquescently sensitive technical precision that exquisitely encapsulates Roe’s description of the nocturnes in her excellent booklet note as “half-waking dreams in a night without gloom”. The overall effect is intimate, intense and involving in equal measure, the recording beautifully framed in Suffolk’s Potton Hall. In a word: sublime.

The Washington Post:

The American pianist Elizabeth Joy Roe (of the popular piano duo Anderson and Roe) has been fascinated by Field’s nocturnes since her student years at Juilliard. Now she’s compiled a generous 86 minutes of them on a new album. There was more than just recording the beautiful music. Roe conducted considerable research on Field, hunting for definitive sources, which survive in various editions (one revised by Liszt in 1859) and numbering sequences.

Field, who was born in Dublin in 1782 but spent most of his career in Russia, forged a new style. His slow-paced, lyrical nocturnes are ripe with emotive gestures and flights of fancy. Imbued with lilting melodies, the pieces often sound like wordless songs or operatic arias. Although as Roe points out in the booklet notes, their musical DNA relates to slow movements in Mozart or Beethoven, the sound is uniquely Field’s. His oversized personality — fueled by wit and alcohol — reportedly matched his enormous success.

In nocturnes such as Nos. 1, 5 and 6, Roe skillfully displays Field’s recipe of a singable, ornamented melody in the right hand accompanied by rippling arpeggios or widely spaced chords in the left. No. 4 might be the most beautiful, its bittersweet tune unfolding in Roe’s pearly runs with crepuscular harmonies. A few nocturnes break the mold. No. 13 mesmerizes with the melody in block chords in the left hand, while the right ladles on a repeated theme above. No. 16 plays like a scene from a Donizetti opera, its sweeping lyricism punctuated by dramatic asides, while No. 12 lopes along with a jaunty tune.

Field’s nocturnes have similar moods, but careful listening reveals that Roe makes each an individual portrait.

Review in NZZ am Sonntag (Zürich)

Review in NZZ am Sonntag (Zürich)

Live performance with Decoda (recorded in Seattle):

Finally, an in-depth interview in the first episode of the new Through the Stage Door Podcast: