Tryon Concert Association to present pianist Gary Graffman

Published 12:38 pm Friday, June 20, 2008

The Tryon Concert Association says it is proud to present a special summer concert featuring famed pianist Gary Graffman on Sunday, June 22, 2008 at 3 p.m. at the Tryon Fine Arts Center, 34 Melrose Avenue, Tryon, NC,

Gary Graffman, as a child wonder, became a student in piano at the Curtis Institute of Music at the incredibly young age of seven. After winning the first regional competition of the Rachmaninoff contest he made his critically acclaimed debut with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 18. He went on to win the national Rachmaninoff Competition and the Leventritt Competition, following which, he was invited to perform with the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell, and the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein. Many honors followed including the opportunity to study with Vladmir Horowitz. Over the years he has received numerous awards for his recordings and film soundtracks.

In 1979 Graffman developed a focal dystonia of the right hand, a neurological disorder that caused loss of function of the fingers. Thus, for the past 30&bsp; years he has been performing as a left-handed pianist, thrilling and amazing audiences with the fact that he can bring out as much music with one hand as others do with two.

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In 1980 he returned to his alma mater, the Curtis Institute, where he served as president until 1995. For the past 12 years he has continued at Curtis as a faculty member teaching outstanding piano students and coaching piano and chamber music groups.

Over the years a repertoire for left-handed piano performance has developed for musicians with focal dystonia such as Graffman&squo;s. Gary Graffman with bring the Tryon audience a program of such music. He will be playing works by Scriabin, Reinecke, Bach/Brahms, Reger, Kirchner, Corigliano, Blumenfeld and Chopin/Godowsky.

For ticket information call the TFAC box office, 828-859-8322.