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March 17, 2015

Antonio Pompa-Baldi performs all five Beethoven Concertos in one weekend


Antonio Pompa-Baldi performs all five Beethoven Concertos in one weekend

In concerts spanning three days, Cleveland Institute of Music piano faculty member Antonio Pompa-Baldi, along with the Fresno Philharmonic, did the remarkable: they performed all five Beethoven Concertos, three total hours of music, in a 36-hour performance window.

It’s been done before, but it’s not usual. The endurance needed for such a feat is impressive, not to mention the hours upon hours of rehearsal time. Despite the challenge, the orchestra and its soloist performed to great acclaim.

“It was mesmerizing to watch and listen to Pompa-Baldi play,” said the FresnoBeehive. “He’s not a showy performer: no grand flourishes, thunderous motions or theatrical grimaces meant to put on a visual show. Just amazing artistry and concentration.”

The review went on to comment on the physical toll such a performance took. “During moments of repose during Beethoven’s Piano Concertos No. 2 and No. 4, Pompa-Baldi slumped his shoulders and head, resting his arms by letting them dangle almost to the floor. You could sense how taxing, both mentally and physically, this endeavor was. The effect was that of a musician completely dedicated to the performance.

Then came the fourth concerto, in which Beethoven’s genius really becomes apparent. Fiery, subdued, roiling, tranquil, rhythmic, cacophonous — all these words and more apply. Pompa-Baldi took us by the hand and gave us a tour full of confidence and precision.”

Congratulations to Mr. Pompa-Baldi and the Fresno Philharmonic!