Previous Concerts


Photo of John O'Conor

John O'Conor

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Program

Haydn Sonata in b minor Hob XVI No. 32
Schubert Four Impromptus D 899
Field Three Nocturnes:
     No. 5 in B flat major
     No. 6 in F major
     No. 18 in E major "Le Midi"
Beethoven Sonata in c sharp minor Op.27 No. 2 "Moonlight"


Excerpt of Review by John W. Barker

Lovers of piano music were given a special treat this past weekend — a double-header, allowing access to two different dimensions of one of the important pianists of our time.

John O'Conor, the Irish pianist, appeared on Friday evening with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra (WCO), presenting a stimulating performance of the Piano Concerto No. 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Then, the following evening, at the Salon Piano Series at Farley's House of Pianos, O'Conor gave a solo recital that showed the more personalized aspects of his art.

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Photo of Alon Goldstein

Alon Goldstein & the Pro Arte Quartet

Saturday, March 10, 2018 and Sunday, March 11, 2018

Program

Selected Scarlatti sonatas
Mozart Concerto No. 23
Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34


Excerpt of Review by John W. Barker

The latest offering in the Salon Piano series from Farley's House of Pianos is a thought-provoking one.

First, the performers. Alon Goldstein is the visiting pianist, and he begins things with a Scarlatti sonata, played on a clavichord built by Tim Farley, then repeated on piano. He also plays three other pieces — none of which are identified. Goldstein is a stimulating musician who is also skilled in giving spoken introductions to his performances.

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Photo of Ilya Yakushev

Ilya Yakushev

Sunday, November 12, 2017
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Program

Haydn's Piano Sonata in D
Tchaikovsky's Sentimental Waltz
Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue
Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition



Photo of Roberto Plano and Paola Del Negro

Roberto Plano & Paola Del Negro

Sunday, September 24, 2017
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Program

Schumann's Pictures from the East (Bilder aus Osten, Op. 66)
Burgmein (aka Ricordi) Suite "Les amoureux de Colombine"
Brahms' Hungarian Dances - selected from Dances 1-5
The Moldau by Smetana
Brahms' Sonata for Two Pianos, Op. 34b

Excerpt of Review by John W. Barker

Roberto Plano appeared last season in a four-piano concert in the Salon Piano Series at Farley's House of Pianos. This year, to open the 2017-18 season in the same series on last Sunday afternoon, the Boston-based pianist brought along his pianist wife, Paola Del Negro, for a duo program of utter fascination.

The first half of the program was devoted to music for piano-four hands, the duo alternating between primo and secondo parts. Robert Schumann's six "Pictures From the East," Op. 66, are examples of the composer's important duo output.

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Photo of Isabella Lippi

Isabella Lippi Trio

with Paula Kosower and Kuang-Hao Huang
Friday, May 19, 2017

Program

Mozart - Trio in B-flat major, K. 502
Shostakovich - Trio No 2 in E minor, Op 67
Dvorak - Trio No 4 in E minor, Op 90 ("Dumky")

Excerpt of Review by Greg Hettmansberger

It has been proven repeatedly that the greatest works in the realm of chamber music invariably receive their greatest performances from players who have played together for years; many well-known string quartet members will tell you that their professional relationships are often closer than their marriages.

So the curiosity bar was raised when the close of the Salon Piano Series was announced, with the Isabella Lippi Trio (pictured above, courtesy of Farley's House of Pianos), tackling three undisputed masterpieces of the piano trio repertoire. One learned after the evening, over the usually lovely reception presented at Farley's House of Pianos, that violinist Lippi, cellist Paula Kosower, and pianist Kuang-Hao Huang had all played together—in other ensembles. But in the intimate confines of the Farley's showroom last Friday, they tackled piano trios of Mozart, Shostakovich and Dvorak.

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4 on the Floor

Daniel del Pino, Lucille Chung, Alon Goldstein, and Roberto Plano

Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29, 2016
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Program

Sonata in D for one piano four hands, K. 381—Mozart
Danse Macabre for four pianos arranged by Ernest Guiraud—Saint-Saëns
Carmen Fantasy for four pianos arranged by Mack Wilberg—Bizet
Transcription of Boléro for four pianos—Ravel
Rhapsody no. 2 for four pianos arranged by Richard Kleinmichel—Liszt




Amit Peled

Saturday, February 27, 2016
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Program

Sonata in G minor—Handel
Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009—Bach
7 Variations on "Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen," WoO 46—Beethoven
Élégie —Fauré
Sicilienne—Fauré
Papillon—Fauré
Aria From Organ Pastoral in F, BWV 590—Bach
Allegro Appassionato in B minor, Op. 43—Saint-Saëns

Excerpt of Review by John W. Barker

Once again, Farley's House of Pianos has shown what a unique outpost it is for classical music in Madison.

On last Saturday night, it presented the brilliant young Israeli-American cellist Amit Peled, with his working accompanist, Noreen Cassidy-Polera, having snared them along the line of their current national tour.

For this visit, he brought with him not only his own talents, but a remarkable instrument. This was a cello made in 1733 by Matteo Gofriller, once owned and played on by no less than Pablo Casals. Two years ago, it was entrusted to Peled on loan by Marta Casals Istomin, the great cellist's widow.

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Excerpt of Review by Greg Hettmansberger

Any event at the Salon Piano Series at Farley's House of Pianos contains at least a whiff of musical history: The establishment has long been renowned for its superb restorations of historic keyboards. So much so that pianists who get within a few hours of Madison will arrange to come and play one or more of the fine instruments, and a few times a year a hundred or so lucky folks get to soak up the results.

Happily, the artistic sensibilities of Tim and Renee Farley extend beyond "mere" pianism, and cellist Amit Peled made a return visit Saturday night. The event could hardly have been more auspicious from a purely esthetic perspective; Peled has been playing the c. 1733 Goffriller cello played by Pablo Casals for the last couple of years or so. Shortly after having the instrument loaned to him by Casals' widow, Peled discovered at his place of work, the Peabody Conservatory of Music, a program that Casals performed there in 1915. It was one stop on an extended U.S. tour, and suddenly Peled knew what part of the purpose was in having this instrument at his disposal: Repeat the program.

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Dick Hyman

Dick Hyman

Saturday, May 30 & Sunday, May 31, 2015
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Set List for May 31 Concert

Cherokee
I Feel Pretty
All Blues
Tenderly
But Not for Me
Waltz in A flat Major (Op. 69 No. 1) by Chopin
Tea For Two
Jazz Me Blues
Without A Song
Emily
Luck Be A Lady Tonight
'Deed I Do
I'll Take Romance / How Deep Is the Ocean
Summertime
It Ain't Necessarily So

Review by Lana Robotewskyj

Tapping toes, swaying shoulders, bobbing heads, dancing fingers...clearly, a jazzist was in the house--and a phenomenal pianist at that! Farley's House of Pianos hosted the last Salon Piano Series concert of the 2014-15 season, and did it end with a bang! Dick Hyman, who has recorded over 100 albums and won an Emmy for his original score to Sunshine's On the Way, performed on Sunday, May 31st in the Farley's showroom. Mr. Hyman delivered an intimate and unforgettable performance, appealing to all ages and tastes, featuring music from classical and Broadway hits, to all-time-favorite jazz gems from decades past. His program included titles such as "I Feel Pretty," "All Blues," improvisations on a Chopin Waltz, and "Tea for Two." He even took requests from the audience, dazzling everyone with his nimble fingers, his improvisatory skill set, chord voicings, and scaler patterns. I was especially mesmerized with "Tenderly," which took me back to the years before I was born. I was envisioning myself in the 50's, drinking a cocktail, smoking a long skinny cigarette, done up in Audrey Hepburn hair and gown, and listening to jazz in a nightclub...such a relaxing evening for the mind and soul. The concert was followed by a wonderful reception of apéritifs and gourmet fare including smoked salmon, goat cheese and fig jam, crackers and breads, dips and spreads, and fruit and veggies. Great music coupled with fine food--I can't imagine a more fulfilling evening. The best part of the Salon Piano Series concerts, however, is the chance to meet and greet the performers. I treasure my memories of conversations with these pianists. Thank you for your hospitality at these events, Tim and Renee. I'm excited for the next program!


Martin Kasik

 

Martin Kasík

Saturday, April 18, 2015
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Dear Mr. Farley,

I would like to thank you for the great experience with your [1914] Mason & Hamlin [CC1] concert grand. Very rarely [does] one play an instrument that has all the[se] qualities: inspiring sound in every register, singing quality, dynamic possibilities as well as responsive and easy mechanics.

I am sure that this instrument would be a wonderful asset of any prime concert hall.

With all my respect and best wishes,

Martin Kasík

Prague, April 30, 2015

 


Peter Serkin

Julia Hsu

 

Peter Serkin & Julia Hsu - Piano, Four Hands

Saturday, April 4, 2015
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Comments from Jess Anderson, a friend of Salon Piano Series

How fortunate that the Salon Piano Series could bring pianists Peter Serkin and Julia Hsu to Madison for a really outstanding program of four-hands music. The four-hands repertory is huge, much of it very high quality, but too rarely heard in public concerts.

The program was richly varied, opening and ending with works I'd never heard -- Schumann's Six Etudes in the form of Canons for Pedal-Piano, Op. 26, arranged by Bizet, and five of the 21 Hungarian Dances by Brahms, originally written for piano, four-hands.

Also new to me were the Three Pieces from Jeux d'Enfant, by Bizet. Fascinating music indeed.

Between, more familiar four-hand works: Mozart's charming Sonata in B-flat major, K. 358 and two great masterworks by Schubert: the Allegro ma non troppo in A minor (Lebenssturme), D. 947 -- a very demanding work indeed, and the delightful Rondo in A Major, D. 951, Schubert's final 4-hand work. This repertory is rarely programmed, so it was a special treat to hear it played live and with such panache.

I hope we'll be able to hear Mr. Serkin and Ms. Hsu again before long. This was really first-rate music-making.

 

Review by Lana Robotewskyj

The Salon Piano Series at Farley's House of Pianos is nothing short of spectacular. Tim and Renee Farley are the perfect hosts to these intimate musical settings, which honor the past traditions and spirit of the Parisians from the 19th Century. These performances are truly a unique opportunity to hear international artists in a cozy setting, performing on Tim’s very rare 1914 Mason and Hamlin, which Tim has beautifully restored. You may or may not know, Tim has rebuilt my 9 ft Mason and Hamlin and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

Last night, I had the honor to not only listen to Peter Serkin and Julia Hsu perform various four-hand pieces (including the likes of Mozart, Brahms, Schubert, Bizet, and Schumann), I participated in dialogue with Peter regarding The Hungarian Dances by Brahms afterwards. Hearing the piano sing and dance through cadences of Sturm und Drang and light and sun, simply makes for a lovely evening. Peter and Julia maintained the focus of the audience throughout the course of the night with their elegance and perfect balance of musicianship. Simply put, their playing was exquisite. It is not unusual to meet and speak with the performers after the concerts, as Tim and Renee invite all participants to join in a generous reception of wine and cheese, breads and spreads, and delightful sweets.

The Salon Piano Series brings together a wide variety of people: students, artists, intellectuals, and hobbyists, all of whom have something in common: a passion for piano music and an appreciation for the artists who travel a distance to share. For those of you who know me well, music and food are my two obsessions, and--coupled with a night of quality, like minded souls-- you have a perfect evening of utmost contentment. This is the fourth concert I’ve attended, and I can’t say enough about the magical experience I personally witness right here in Madison. One does not need to go to Europe to hear the likes of their masters. They come to Madison.

 

Review by Don Smith

Madison was fortunate to have an example of an almost lost art this past Saturday when Farley's House of Pianos hosted a recital of music for piano four hands presented by Peter Serkin and Julia Hsu. The delicate interplay of the two performers was brought to the fore in music of Schumann, Bizet, Mozart, Schubert and Brahms. An interesting rarity opened the program: a selection of six Etudes for Pedal Piano of Robert Schumann. The pedal piano in these pieces was far removed from a practice instrument for organists; Schumann treated the listener to true songs without words. The three short Bizet pieces were a gentle bit of pianistic fluff the two players danced through before turning to larger works of Mozart and Schubert. The interplay between the two performers was brought to a climax in the two Schubert pieces which were written in the last year of his life. It was amazing to hear the gentleness of Ms. Hsu's touch on filigree work in both Mozart and Schubert, a sensitivity that was fully supported by Mr. Serkin's strongly presented lower part. To hear the two pianists develop the intricate lines and then dramatically insert fortes of strength as well as sensitivity was surely a highpoint of this listener's experience! Musicologist John Reed writes that this music (Schubert) calls out for orchestral expression. But Ms. Hsu and Mr. Serkin brought from the beautifully restored 1914 Mason & Hamlin a rich yet rarely heard sensitivity. The recital closed with five Hungarian Dances of Brahms that were not some of those usually heard. In all, it was an evening to be treasured and one can only reflect that Bard College is indeed fortunate to have these two wonderful performers on their staff! Let's hope that Farley's can lure Hsu and Serkin back to Madison soon.

 


Varshavski-Shapiro Piano Duo

November 2, 2014
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Diana and I would like to THANK YOU for a unique opportunity to perform at Farley's House of Pianos. We have performed at Farley's House of Pianos three times and each one of them gave us an enormous pleasure of being part of Art that you produce.

Tim, you are truly an artist of pianos. You know not only a structure and history of the instrument but also you "FEEL" pianos. You feel their different colors and characters. After your renovation the pianos start "talking" and become better every year.

Renee, your vision of EVERY little detail in the Farley's House of Pianos is exclusive. Your students and audience become big part of the Farley's family. You educate people and give them ideas to think very gently and kindly about them. You have a special gift to talk to people and they want to come back.

Diana and I LOVE to come to Farley's House of Pianos and perform there. We always know that we would have the BEST pianos in the BEST conditions and the MOST appreciative audience. Renee and Tim, THANK YOU for everything that you do!!!

Diana and Stanislava.

Varshavski-Shapiro Piano Duo.



Dick Hyman Jazz Clinic and Concert

Saturday, May 31st and Sunday, June 1st, 2014
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Review by Diedre Buckley, Doctor of Musical Arts

Dick Hyman's solo performance was a tour de force of jazz piano styles, from the earliest ragtime, blues, boogie-woogie and stride through bebop to modern jazz piano stylings. A jazz pianist who played with Charlie Parker and a scholar of his instrument, Mr. Hyman has thoroughly synthesized this history into his playing. Starting with the opening tune ("Sweet Georgia Brown"), Mr. Hyman demonstrated that he can move seamlessly through these styles within a single, extended improvisation, all while presenting a clear musical statement and without sounding clichéd. His selection of repertoire was equally broad, relying heavily on jazz standards from Thelonious Monk compositions to "Cherokee" and including a Brazilian version of "Maple Leaf Rag." He also included two theme songs from his own long career: one from the game show "Beat the Clock" (Mr. Hyman was the studio organist for a time) and the other from the Woody Allen film "Purple Rose of Cairo" (his own composition). At every turn Mr. Hyman was fluent and imaginative, with a perfect instinct for proportion: while some tunes were given compact presentations, others were lengthy excursions of ten minutes or more. Either way, Mr. Hyman always kept his listener engaged and his musical thoughts concise. Dick Hyman's performance was a history lesson in concert form and a joyful celebration of jazz piano in all its magnificent diversity.



Review by Gary Alderman

The Saturday evening workshop was a unique experience. Mr. Hyman started by demonstrating the historical evolution of jazz piano with emphasis on style. This included early styles such as rag time, stride, boogie woogie and swing. He ended with Bebop and then talked about the influence of Bill Evans on modern/current style.

His critique of three local piano players (solo and with bass and drums) was the highlight of the evening. He was able to enlighten not only the musicians but everyone in the audience to many fine points. These included piano dynamics, use and deployment of the left hand in both combo and solo playing. Furthermore he discussed and demonstrated sounds of various instruments one might hear re notes played by the right hand. The evening was a great success as each piano player learned things that may have taken them many years to a lifetime to figure out or realize! The audience learned additional aspects of listening to jazz based on the nature and variety of comments and observations by the master, Dick Hyman.

The Sunday afternoon concert was attended by a full house. The studio was filled with warm and beautiful sounds of the 100-year-old Mason & Hamlin concert grand piano restored by Tim Farley. Mr. Hyman mentioned more than once that this is one of the best pianos he has ever played!

He entertained the audience with familiar standard tunes as well as (his versions) of three Thelonious Monk compositions. He talked a little bit about his career including the years he played organ on the TV show "Beat The Clock" an then proceeded to play the theme song for the aforementioned show. He served as composer/arranger/conductor/pianist for a number of Woody Allen films and played the theme from the movie Purple Rose Of Cairo. He ended with an exhilarating performance of Billy Strayhorns's Take The A Train. It is interesting to note that he incorporated several of the styles presented the previous evening within the performance of this composition.

The packed audience was thrilled with the entire performance. Everyone was thankful and very pleased that Farley's was able to present one of the greatest living jazz piano players to our community.


Review by Chuck Evans

I had the pleasure of hearing Dick Hyman in concert and he was in great form. He's very genial and always announces what he is about to play. His performance takes you on a magical trip through jazz standards, in his personal style, along with the styles of other well-known jazz pianists, such as Fats Waller, Oscar Peterson, and Thelonious Monk. Hyman's mastery of the keyboard is stunning. His descending complex runs really surprised me. Most players rarely use descending fills of such harmonic complexity. He inspired me to practice descending fast passages with both hands. I also noticed his pedaling. He used the middle pedal often and with great effect, employing it nearly as often as the right sustain pedal. That's a technique seldom used in jazz piano. Dick was very generous with his knowledge, and had some witty observations about the world of music and musicians. Dick Hyman now has me as an ardent fan. One word sums up his performance: WOW!




Ryan McCullough Performing the Last Three Beethoven Piano Sonatas

Saturday, April 26th, 2014 See Program
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Review by Jess Anderson

A full house was on hand Saturday evening at Farley's House of Pianos for a particularly demanding, intensely rewarding recital by pianist Ryan McCullough. The program comprised the last three sonatas of Beethoven: No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109; No. 31 in A-Flat Major, Op. 110; and after intermission, No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111.

Probably a number of young virtuoso pianists could manage such a program technically, but it seems quite unlikely that more than a very few might approach the level of musical mastery and intensity offered in this instance. Different as they are, the three works have a number of features in common: many very dense, very fast, loud passages alternating -- sometimes abruptly -- with slow, achingly lyrical, finely shaded, delicately soft sections. Despite the similarities of overall pianistic style, each of the sonatas is a world unto itself, and this too was borne out by McCullough's lucid performances.

I've heard these sonatas again and again in live concerts over a span of more than 60 years (though never before all on the same program, however), played by legendary pianists -- Myra Hess, Rudolf Serkin, Claudio Arrau, and others. Having heard Ryan McCullough play John Harbison's very demanding Piano Sonata No. 2 at the Token Creek Festival four years ago, I was already well aware that he was a force to be reckoned with. But to be candid, I wasn't quite sure, even so, how this event would measure up. Among pianists, after all, the late Beethoven sonatas tend to acquire a quasi-religious mystique.

I realize now I need not have been at all concerned. The Salon Piano Series, which sponsored this event, can quite justifiably be proud of this offering. Bravos all around.



Frank Glazer

August 4th, 2013

Excerpt of Review by Greg Hettmansberger, Madison Magazine's Classically Speaking Blog

The next time I hear a teenaged prodigy toss off a concerto like it's a warm-up exercise, it won't be the last. But hearing Frank Glazer at the piano Sunday afternoon at Farley's House of Pianos was the first, and perhaps, only time that I will experience a viable artist who is 98 years young.

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