Mozart Recital with Malcolm Bilson


    Sunday 1 October 2017

  • We regret to advise that due to ill health Professor Bilson is unable to travel from the United States to Australia and that the event scheduled for Sunday 1 October has been cancelled.
Wolfgang Mozart

Mozart and the Fortepiano

A Recital with Professor Malcolm Bilson, UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow and Frederick J. Whiton Professor Emeritus of Music at Cornell University.

The piano played a central role in Mozart’s musical life. His maturation as a composer coincided with significant advances in the development of the Viennese fortepiano that made this instrument a suitable vehicle for some of his most memorable and profound artistic statements. Mozart wrote music for the piano in every genre available to him: from solo and chamber pieces for the more intimate setting of the parlour, to the pioneering concertos performed on public theatrical stages. In addition to—and, at times, even surpassing—his achievements as a composer, Mozart was also an expert improviser and history’s first virtuoso pianist. After hearing Mozart in concert, a contemporary reported that “we did not, in fact, know what to admire most, whether the extraordinary compositions or his extraordinary playing.”

This concert will feature a few of the settings in which Mozart composed for the piano: as an instrument for one pianist, for two pianists, and in partnership with a violin, and a soprano. Malcolm Bilson will be playing on UWA School of Music’s replica of a Viennese fortepiano. Built by Paul McNulty, the instrument is modeled on one by Anton Walter, one of the most important piano makers of his day and whose instrument Mozart owned.

Professor Bilson will be joined on stage by members of UWA School of Music:

Shaun Lee-Chen (violin), Sara Macliver (soprano), and Cecilia Sun (fortepiano).

Malcolm Bilson has been at the forefront of the period instrument movement for more than forty years. A member of the Cornell University Music Department since 1968, where he is currently Frederick J. Whiton Professor Emeritus of Music, he began his pioneering activity in the early 1970s as a performer of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert on late-18th- and early-19th-century pianos. He has been a key contributor to the restoration of the early piano to the concert stage and fresh recordings of the mainstream repertory. 

In addition to an extensive career as a soloist and chamber player, he has toured with many of the world’s most important early instrument orchestras. In the 1980s he recorded all the Mozart Piano Concertos with John Eliot Gardiner for Deutsche Grammophon/Archiv. Later he recorded all the solo sonatas of Mozart and Schubert for Hungaroton, as well as the complete Beethoven piano sonatas with six of his former students for Claves Records.

This event is co-hosted by the UWA Institute of Advanced Studies and the School of Music.