The Arlene Kies Piano Recital and Master Class Series and University of New Hampshire Department of Music bring Toronto-based pianists Gregory Millar and Lisa Raposa '99 (Millar Piano Duo) and artist Antonietta Kies to Durham to present "Clavier à Couleurs: An Exhibit of Piano Preludes." Part art exhibition and part concert, this event will feature a performance of 24 Preludes, Op. 11 by Alexander Scriabin, and 24 Preludes, Op. 28 by Frédéric Chopin. Additionally, a new series of 24 landscapes by Kies will be receiving their first U.S. public exhibition. Clavier à Couleurs: An Exhibit of Piano Preludes successfully premiered at Heliconian Hall in Toronto on November 23, 2019. The U.S. event will take place in the Bratton Recital Hall of the Paul Creative Arts Center on Monday, March 23, at 8:00 pm, and include a "Session with the Artist." Admission is free and open to the public.
Kies' paintings, collectively titled "Poetics," take Scriabin's music as their inspiration. The artist captures on canvas a personal response to the mood and emotional content suggested by each prelude. During the performance of Scriabin's pieces by Raposa, images of the paintings will be projected, giving the audience the opportunity to contemplate the connections between the art and the music. Following a brief intermission, the evening will conclude with Millar's performance of Chopin's piano preludes, the collection upon which Scriabin modeled his own. This will be accompanied by projections of descriptive titles penned by German pianist and conductor Hans von Bülow and French pianist Alfred Cortot that will invite audience members to paint their own pictures in their imaginations as they listen.
Music and art are strongly interconnected for Kies, having grown up with two pianist parents: current piano faculty member Christopher Kies and the late Arlene Kies, a UNH piano faculty member for 20 years. The younger Kies says, "When I listen to music, I am one of those people who tends to space out a little, daydream... I inevitably start seeing pictures and thinking about feelings that the music relates to, so it all blends together for me."
Raposa is a UNH Department of Music alumna, class of 1999. The Millar Piano Duo, a husband-and-wife team, are both graduates of the Eastman School of Music. They have presented concerts and workshops in Canada and the U.S., normally playing together in music for four-hands on one or two pianos. Millar comments on the interesting departure they take for this project: "The two solo piano works are formally and stylistically related, yet we can give them individual interpretations. Bringing Antonietta into the mix adds a third layer of perspective. The result is a unique kind of ensemble performance."