Hungarian pianist Daniel Lebhardt played the second recital in the 2022 Shrewsbury International Piano Recital Series on Sunday 30th October in St Chads Church. Images and words by the recital series organiser Dr Peter Barritt.
Hungarian pianist Daniel Lebhardt played to a spellbound audience at St Chad's, offering two Beethoven Sonatas including the Appassionata with an incredibly difficult Schumann Toccata sandwiched between.
He began by playing the rarely played Sonata No. 22, less dramatic than the Appassionata but equally original and perfectly formed. Daniel's performance of the Appassionata was full of passion, confidence and understanding of the turbulent period in Beethoven's life when it was composed. A better performance of the work has never been performed in Shrewsbury.
Daniel has lived and studied in the UK for the past 12 years, most recently at the Birmingham Conservatoire. He has already established an international career, having performed in Europe, The Far East and both North and South America. He has a very wide repertoire which stretches from Bach to Bartók and beyond. Daniel has already played seven times in the Wigmore Hall as well as appearing with orchestras in Symphony Hall, the Barbican and the Royal Festival Hall. As with most of the previous top performers, he showed modesty, a good heart as well as a fierce work ethic and a desire to do justice to the music he so passionately loves.
After the intermission, Daniel played Schubert's Drei Klavierstucke (Three Piano Pieces) D 946 which beautifully demonstrated his phenomenal technique and dense concentration as well as his ability to make the piano sing with divine melodies. As an encore, Daniel performed Schubert's Hungarian Melody, an apt ending with a nod to his homeland. Daniel found the audience inspiring with its complete silence, concentration and deep appreciation of the beauty of some of the finest piano music ever written. This is the beauty of live music, when performer and audience journey together through sublime works. Daniel thoroughly enjoyed his visit to Shrewsbury and, like all our young stars, would return at the drop of a hat.
Next season, the international piano recital series will be incorporated within the Shropshire Music Trust programme but will otherwise remain unchanged in format.
It is great news for the Shrewsbury International Piano Recital Series that Shropshire Music Trust has offered to take them under its wing. The new arrangement provides improved financial stability and a secure future for the recitals, which aim to help young international pianists at the start of their careers.
I shall continue to organise and introduce the recitals, bringing some of the best young pianists from around the world to play in the town. Next season we welcome back the italian maestro Pietro Fresa and the Georgian superstar Mariam Batsashvili.