"Ran" Waite Wing
In Concert: Anthony de Mare and Steven Mayer
In Concert: Anthony de Mare and
Anthony de Mare is one hot daddy! I first read about him in the March 15th issue of the Advocate: teacher, actor, dancer and most importantly, an OUT pianist. While doing my Google search, I discovered that he was performing "The American Piano" at Hamilton College on April 9, 2005. I had to see if all the hype about his performing skills was true.
He obviously works out at the gym, woof, and is dedicated to his music. He and Steven Mayer, are both piano players with impressive résumés. The two men are renowned concert pianists and have impeccable reputations as live performers. [I don't know anything about Mayer's sexual orientation, so none of us should assume.] They took turns playing a single Steinway grand piano, which took center stage. de Mare is ingenious in his playing. At one point he was actually inside the piano plucking and stroking the strings, and another time I watched in awe as he played a piece with both hands and his elbow. Now I know why he "has long been recognized throughout the world for his performing versatility and dedication to the music
of our time" (Bernstein Artists biography).
The program was called "The American Piano." What we heard were compositions primarily written for the piano, composed by 19th and 20th century composers. These composer's specific styles have ultimately influenced other musicians. Both pianists prefaced each piece with a brief description of the composer before launching into the music. We heard the likes of Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Charles Ives, Henry Cowell, Jason Robert Brown, Art Tatum, Paul Moravec, William Mason, Jelly Roll Morton, Frederic Rzewski and Duke Ellington. What I took away from this program was simple; these fine musicians represent American music, but the landscape of American music also includes LGBT musicians. Included in the program we had also heard from the likes of Leonard Berstein, Fred Hersch and Billy Strayhorn.
The last song of the evening was a duet by these two men, both on Steinways, playing the Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn composition "Tonk." The technical expertise of these two masters was incredible—I can only imagine how difficult that was to play together. This was my very first piano recital and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. [Side note: Thank goodness they didn't play Tchaikovsky] I hate to admit it, but I may be starting to acquire some culture. Anthony de Mare can be found on the internet at www.bernsarts.com/americanpiano/americanpianobio.html .
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