Pianist Bobby Mitchell Dazzles with Schumann’s Concerto Without Orchestra Op 14

(Jiyang Chen, Photographer)
Bobby Mitchell is an American classical pianist, composer and soloist. He frequently performs new and rarely heard works in the contemporary music canon as well as standard classical repertoire of centuries past.

    Classical pianist and composer Bobby Mitchell, artistic director of France’s “En Blanc et Noir Music Festival,” plays two solo piano pieces: Robert Schumann’s Concerto Without Orchestra and his own Songs from Childhood Saturday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. in Santa Maria Church.
    Classical music lovers may recall Schumann (1810 – 1856) is known for this piece, described by Mitchell as, “Grand Romantic piano music at its very best. Expect all of the drama of a great theatrical play infused into remarkable virtuoso piano textures.” Known for telling a story through his music, Schumann pushed against the emotional, structural and philosophical boundaries of his time.
    While no stranger to performing in the Bay Area, Mitchell has covered the globe both as a soloist and collaborative concert pianist in Europe, South Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East.
    NRC Netherlands said, “Bobby Mitchell not only knows how to make exciting and unique music using ornamentation, sound and tempo, but you can hear that he never just plays what is written.”
    Orinda resident Vicki Nakamura, who has followed Mitchell’s career for many years said, “Listen and watch Bobby’s performance of the eight-part People United Will Never be Defeated on YouTube – it gives me the chills. The composition requires immense virtuosity and other extended techniques. He has performed as a guest concert pianist on every continent except Antarctica. While he lives in Germany, we are fortunate that he includes the Bay Area in his current tour.”
    Mitchell is comfortable in traditional classical repertoire as well as music as modern performance art and improvisation with classical elements: Hence, his Songs from Childhood, commissioned by the San Francisco International Piano Festival’s artistic director Jeffrey LaDeur for the occasion of the festival’s fourth edition in 2020. This 25-minute modern solo piano composition has eight movements or sections. You will hear elements of familiar songs from childhood (such as Old McDonald Had a Farm and Daisy, Daisy) filtered through the sophisticated palette of a virtuoso pianist.
    Mitchell said, “I have dedicated my life to the piano because live music brings us together and fills our souls with sounding joy. When you hear the Santa Maria Church filled with piano music, you will be transported to a place that only great live art can take you.”
    While this hour-plus concert is offered at no cost in Santa Maria Church, 40 Santa Maria Way, donations are accepted at www.fundraising.fracturedatlas.org/bobby-mitchell-pianist. All COVID-19 precautions observed; ample parking.
    To learn more about Mitchell, visit www.bobbymitchellpiano.com or call Vicki Nakamura at 925.708.1915.

Elana O’Loskey can be reached at business.orinda@gmail.com.

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