Daniel Wnukowski's Carnegie Hall debut showcasing the work of Karol Rathaus
Daniel Wnukowski, piano
HANDEL Keyboard Suite Vol. 1, No. 7 in G minor, HWV 432
RATHAUS Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 20
CHOPIN 24 Preludes, Op. 28
Polish-Canadian pianist Daniel Wnukowski makes his New York solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall performing Handel’s Keyboard Suite Vol. 1, No. 7 in G minor, HWV 432; Chopin’s 24 Preludes, Op. 28; and Karol Rathaus’s Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 20 on Friday, May 3 at 8:00 p.m. at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.
All three works are by émigré composers who were also virtuoso performers and improvisers at the keyboard. Least known is Jewish composer Karol Rathaus (1895–1954), whose music Mr. Wnukowski has championed in concert and on record. Recently, he performed the composer’s music with The Orchestra Now under Leon Botstein and launched a recording cycle of the composer’s complete piano works on Toccata Classics.
Karol Rathaus was born in Austria-Hungary, and though little-known today, he was a precocious student and protégé of Franz Schreker. After leaving Berlin in 1932 due to the deteriorating political situation, he migrated to Paris, then to London in 1934, before settling in New York in 1938. He joined the music faculty of Queens College two years later as its first professor of composition.
Daniel Wnukowski, winner of the 2000 Polish National Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, has performed at Chopin societies across the world, including in Paris, Rome, Vienna, Basel, Toronto, Tokyo, Detroit, and Singapore, as well as at the International Music Festival “Chopin and His Europe” in Warsaw and the International Piano Festival Chopiniana in Buenos Aires.
Wnukowski’s interest in works by interwar Jewish composers overlaps with the mission of The OREL Foundation, which presents the recital and was founded by James Conlon in 2008 to encourage research on and performance of music suppressed as a result of Nazi policies from 1933 to 1945. The recital is also presented in partnership with the USC Thornton School of Music’s Polish Music Center, one of the most extensive resources outside of Poland for research in Polish music and culture; the Polish Cultural Institute in New York, a diplomatic mission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland; Canada Council for the Arts, Canada’s public arts funder; and Vienna University’s exil.arte Center, dedicated to the reception, preservation, and research of Austrian musical figures who were branded as “degenerate” by the Third Reich. The exil.arte Center, which has collaborated with Mr. Wnukowski for years in his exploration of this repertoire, was responsible for introducing him to the music of Rathaus and many other composers—a key factor in his decision to return to music.
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