Pianist Michael Arnowitt to perform at Gorham’s Medallion Opera House this Sunday

Pianist Michael Arnowitt to perform at Gorham’s Medallion Opera House on Sunday. (COURTESY PHOTO)

GORHAM — Pianist Michael Arnowitt will perform on Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Medallion Opera House in Gorham.

Arnowitt has been living in Toronto, Canada, since 2017. He is returning to New England this fall to perform a few in-person concerts for the first time since the pandemic began.

The program opens with a half-dozen of Bach’s miniature three-part Sinfonias, companion pieces in three-part vounterpoint to Bach’s more familiar two-part inventions.

The major work on the program is Brahms’ "Variations on a Theme by Haydn," transcribed for piano from the original orchestral version by Arnowitt. Based on a cheerful melody known as the St. Antoni Chorale, the wide-ranging adventures Brahms takes us on makes this his greatest composition in the theme and variations form.

The Hungarian-born composer Gyorgy Ligeti, in the final decades of his life, wrote three books of piano etudes Arnowitt regards as the best piano pieces of the past 50 years.

Arnowitt will perform "Open Strings," "Rainbow," and "The Sorcerer’s Apprentice," showcasing the amazing imagination and creativity of these pieces full of new piano sounds and textures.

The program closes with the rousing finale of Alberto Ginastera’s dynamic "Piano Sonata No. 1," based on folk music influences from the Pampas region of Ginastera’s native Argentina. Altogether, this program of lively, colorful music should make for a congenial time together enjoyable to all.

The audience is required to wear masks and to stay as socially distant as possible. Donations will be gratefully accepted at the door.

There will also be a reception for the Northern Androscoggin Valley Art Exhibit just before the piano concert from 2 to 4 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

The exhibit includes works from 19 local artists. The work covers a wide range of media including paintings, drawings, prints, mixed-media and collage. The Medallion Opera House is excited to host this reception to honor and celebrate the Androscoggin Valley artists and their art.

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