Pittance Chamber Music, known for featuring the extraordinary resident artists of the Los Angeles Opera pit and stage, presents “Piano Quartets with Robert Thies,” the second concert of the 2018-19 season taking place in Barrett Hall at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music on Jan. 20, 2019 at 3 p.m.
A pianist of “unerring, warm-toned refinement, revealing judicious glimmers of power” (Los Angeles Times), Robert Thies (pronounced theece) is an artist renowned for his consummate musicianship and poetic temperament. He first captured worldwide attention in 1995 when he won the Gold Medal at the Second International Prokofiev Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia. With this victory, Thies became the only American pianist to win a Russian piano competition since Van Cliburn’s triumph in Moscow in 1958. Thies enjoys a diverse career as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and recording artist. He has already performed 40 different concerti with orchestras all over the world, including Russia’s Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, New Zealand’s Auckland Philharmonia, and the Mexico City Philharmonic.
Highly sought after as a recital partner and collaborator in both instrumental and vocal chamber music, Thies frequently shares the stage with members of the LA Philharmonic and the LA Chamber Orchestra. When not onstage, he is in high demand for special recording projects, and can be heard on many film soundtracks. He founded the Thies Consort, an ensemble that presents unique programs curated with a variety of styles and concepts. Thies is also a dedicated teacher, maintaining a small private studio and serves on the faculty of the Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles.
Principals of the Grammy-winning LA Opera Orchestra, violinist Ana Landauer, violist Brian Dembow and cellist Rowena Hammill join Thies for Mozart’s dramatic Piano Quartet in G minor and Brahms’ lyrical Piano Quartet No. 2 in A major. Also on the program will be Beethoven’s charming Seven Variations on “Bei Männern, welche Liebe Fühlen” for cello and piano, based on a theme from Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute.”
Among the most extraordinary musicians in the world are those you seldom see – the musicians of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra. Founder and Artistic Director Lisa Sutton, who also happens to be the assistant concertmaster of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, formed Pittance Chamber Music in 2013 to shine the spotlight on these remarkable yet invisible artists, bringing them from the pit to the stage to perform in small ensembles, hence the name Pittance. Pittance Chamber Music utilizes a roster of artists drawn from a large pool of talent including members of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra as well as Los Angeles Opera resident vocalists, resulting in a unique variety of repertoire not often heard together in one program.
The third program of Pittance Chamber Music’s 2018-19 season, “Evensong with Joshua Wheeker,” will take place on March 31, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music. This evening offering of beloved works by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Johannes Brahms features tenor Joshua Wheeker, members of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra and pianist Paul Floyd. Wheeker is a Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist at the Los Angeles Opera.
Single tickets for Piano Quartets with Robert Thies are $35, seniors $20, student rush $10 (at the door only). Tickets are available online at PittanceChamberMusic.org or at the venue on the day of the concert if tickets remain. The Pasadena Conservatory of Music is located at 100 N. Hill Ave. in Pasadena.