Trpceski debuts with Maazel and NSO

This week, the highly praised Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski makes his National Symphony Orchestra debut performing Grieg's Piano Concerto. This follows his debut recital at the Kennedy Center this past February.

"I look forward to working again with Lorin Maazel," he said, speaking from his home in Skpoje. "I first performed with him and the New York Philharmonic in 2007, part of a tour and package of concerts with him. I'm happy to play under Maestro Maazel once again and am always ready to learn something from him.

"The Grieg is the second piano concerto I learned, right after 'Rhapsody in Blue.' I'll play it several times this season with a couple of orchestras. It's an amazing piece and a great responsibility. Because it's a favorite of many people and is played often, it's normal for pianists to have a different approach. I play it as natural as I can so the audience hears something interesting."
Simon Trpceski performing Grieg's Piano ConcertoWhere: Kennedy Center Concert HallWhen: 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Saturday and SundayInfo: $20 to $85 at 202-467-4600, 888-444-1324 or
Later this season he makes his Carnegie Hall recital debut with a tribute to Liszt that includes the composer's transcription of Bach's Prelude and Fugue for Organ and what Trpceski laughingly calls the "Tom and Jerry" Rhapsody (Hungarian Rhapsody # 2).

Last season, he made his Carnegie Hall orchestral debut with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony and performs with them again this season, as well as with the San Francisco, Milwaukee and Seattle Symphonies. His concert with the latter will include the American premiere of Macedonian composer Damir Imeri's "Fantasy on Two Folk Themes" with orchestra.

"Damir is a great collaborator with wonderful imagination," he said. "I'm very honored to perform the work of such an amazing composer who also plays the trombone with the Macedonian Opera in Skpoje. He was inspired to write a concerto for me that explores the folk music of Macedonia. It has warmth and melody, as well as an uneven rhythm that will interest instrumentalists in a different kind of musical expression. This piece is the first of three movements he is writing."

Trpceski attributes his love of music to his childhood and an intense social and family life that involved singing and dancing the beloved folk music.

"The Grieg Piano Concerto brings back wonderful memories," he said. "It represents the natural beauty of Norway inspired by that country's folk music. Each time I play it, I find a connection with my childhood through the rhythms and melodies that remind me of the beautiful folk melodies of my country."

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