Council for the Arts sets piano performance

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 15, 2000

One piano, four hands and a soprano voice.

Wednesday, November 15, 2000

One piano, four hands and a soprano voice. That’s the theme music lovers will find at the Ironton Council for the Arts presentation of "Four Hands and a Voice, By George" this weekend.

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The concert will be the second scheduled performance of ICA’s 20th Anniversary Platinum Concert Season and features a husband-wife duet playing one piano.

The sounds of George Gershwin’s piano music combined with the solo voice of soprano Kay Raplenovich can be heard on Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Riffe Auditorium on the Ohio University Southern Campus.

Piano duettists Barbara and Gerhardt Suhrstedt are one of America’s few touring one-piano, four-hand teams, ICA spokesperson Bruce Davis said.

"The interesting part of this entire performance is that we normally think of duettists as playing two pianos," Davis said. "This is a husband and wife playing the same piano at the same time. This particular sound is different from what we’re used to hearing."

The couple have performed in over 40 states since their New York debut in 1982.

In addition to the United States, the Suhrstedts have performed in Canada and Russia. They have been featured on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, the Grand Teton Music Festival, and the Gina Bachauer International Piano Festival.

The Suhrstedts have received wide critical acclaim for their multimedia presentations of "Four Hands Fantastique: French Music, Art, and Poetry, 1870-1920" and "Slava: The Glory of the Arts in Tsarist Russia," Davis said.

The Boston residents are currently participating artists in the New England States Touring Program and have recently released a new CD entitled "Dances for Duettists."

Ms. Raplenovich will be lending her voice to the Gershwin favorites, which will be played by the duettists.

She is a touring artist and artist in education with the Ohio Arts Council.

The Ashland, Ohio resident actively tours with a wide variety of costumed thematic recital programs.

She also has been involved in creating residency experiences for students as well as guide them in writing their own operas.

"We’re looking forward to this concert," Davis said. "This is not going to be your typical classical tunes concert. It’s going to be Gershwin tunes, which I’m sure people will enjoy. This concert will be a little more jazzy. We encourage anyone who is interested to attend."

Tickets for the concert will be available at the door at a rate of $6 for adults, and, $5 for students and seniors.