Dances and Improvisations with pianist Mark Markham
Sunday, January 17, 2021
12pm PST/1pm MST/2pm CST/3pm EST
Federation of Alliances Françaises USA
World-renowned pianist Mark Markham presents, “Dances and Improvisations”, including the music of JS Bach, Maurice Ravel, Francis Poulenc, Claude Debussy and improvisations from the American Songbook. Dance and music are inseparable for Markham, so a program which focuses on the intimacy of dance – solo, a pas de deux or an aristocratic court dance – invites the emotional exploration of this theme, and especially when combined with a French sensibility, brings so many possibilities to life. There are no words in dance, so movement is everything through the harmony, rhythm and melody.
Pianist Mark Markham is equally at home as a soloist, a collaborator with great singers, a chamber musician, a jazz pianist, or a vocal coach, and his interpretations have been praised by the public and press alike. His international career encompasses performances in North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, while the artistry of his playing has been described as “brilliant”, “exquisitely detailed” and “in full service to the music”.
Born in Pensacola FL, Markham made his debut in 1980 as soloist with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra playing Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini”. He studied with Ann Schein at the Peabody Conservatory where he received the Bachelor, Master and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees. Before graduating he was invited to join the faculty where he taught for ten years.
In 1995 he began a twenty-year partnership with the soprano Jessye Norman. They gave over 250 performances in thirty countries in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna, Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, the Royal Festival Hall in London, Salle Pleyel in Paris, Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, the Baalbek Festival in Lebanon, the ancient theatre of Epidaurus in Greece and the Nobel Peace Prize presentation to President Jimmy Carter in Oslo.
For over a decade Mr Markham was based in the south of France. Shortly after arriving in 1999 he was enthroned into the Brotherhood of Chateauneuf-du-pape in recognition of his contributions to music. In 2016 he was invited to give a private recital in New York City for the launch of Domaine Beauregard’s “Gran Partita”, the first wine ever produced in Chateauneuf-du-pape using all thirteen grape varieties of the region.
His affinity for French culture, music, art, food, wine and the language make him a great ambassador for both countries. The program he has chosen for this occasion, “Dances and Improvisations”, includes music of Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Francis Poulenc, as well as J.S. Bach and improvisations from the American Songbook.
This event will be on Zoom and is FREE FOR ALL ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE MEMBERS ($10 for non-members). Please click here to register.