Sound of Charlotte Blog

Garrick Ohlsson returns to Charlotte


Pianist Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. Although long regarded as one of the world's leading exponents of the music of Chopin, Mr. Ohlsson commands an enormous repertoire ranging over the entire piano literature and he has come to be noted for his masterly performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire.

To date he has at his command more than 80 concertos, ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century.

A native of White Plains, N.Y., Garrick Ohlsson began his piano studies at the age of 8, at the Westchester Conservatory of Music; at 13 he entered The Juilliard School, in New York City. He has been awarded first prizes in the Busoni and Montreal Piano competitions, the Gold Medal at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw (1970), the Avery Fisher Prize (1994), the University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor, MI (1998), and the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music (2014).  Read more

Posted in Classics. Tagged as Classical, guest artists, piano.

Randy Newman Serenades Symphony Staff Member

Meet Liz Wooley. Liz is our hardworking Operations Manager, who, since we are presenting the one-and-only Randy Newman tonight, had to work on her birthday due to rehearsal. But, there was a surprise in store for her at the end of the evening!

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Posted in Pops. Tagged as guest artists, piano, Pops.

Colors of Music

After last weekend's concerts, in which the Charlotte Symphony featured Disney tunes including Colors of the Wind, this weekend's performances will touch on colors of music!

The CSO recently explored the experience of synesthesia in its October KnightSounds concert, which paired paintings by Romare Bearden with pieces from the artist's lifetime. (Read more on synesthesia and the concert here.)

Pianist Joyce Yang has also explored synesthesia through her playing and recent album, Collages.


Ms. Yang will perform with the Charlotte Symphony on January 13 and 14, performing, among other pieces, Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Under the conducting prowess of of North Carolina Symphony Conductor Grant Llewellyn, Ms. Yang will perform works by composers Rachmaninoff and Liszt.


Liszt himself experienced synesthesia, and is recorded as asking for specific colors from an orchestra.

"When Liszt first began as Kappellmeister in Weimar (1842), it astonished the orchestra that he said: 'O please, gentlemen, a little bluer, if you please! This tone type requires it!' Or: 'That is a deep violet, please, depend on it! Not so rose!' First the orchestra believed Liszt just joked; later they got accustomed to the fact that the great musician seemed to see colors where there were only tones." -Anonymous, as quoted in Friedrich Mahling

People experience sensations of all kinds while listening to and playing music. The musical correlation to color is only one aspect of the web-like ties music has to many other sensory experiences.
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Posted in Classics. Tagged as guest artists, Liszt, piano.

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