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'... these performances are as compelling as they are touching.'

a recital by the young Texan pianist Roger Wright -


Picture this: A tall, charismatic and immensely gifted young Texan pianist creates a furor at an international piano competition and becomes the darling of the media and the public. The fans go wild, the press reports his every move and a major network offers him a substantial recording contract. Van Cliburn, you say? Well, no. Not this time.

Now the pianist is Roger Wright, a 26 year old from Houston who turned heads recently in Australia when he was denied entry to the final round of the prestigious Sydney International Piano Competition. Already the popular favorite, Wright endeared himself to millions, thanks to the nightly worldwide broadcasts of the Australian Broadcasting Company. So infuriated were his many fans by the jury's decision not to award him first prize that they stormed the electronic barricades demanding an explanation, if not a recount. In response to this unprecedented outpouring of support, the ABC, the competition's principal sponsor, awarded Wright a recording debut ordinarily reserved for the Gold Medal winner.

Roger Wright - Piano Masterpieces (c) 2000 ABC Classics

The result is 'Piano Masterpieces', a riveting recital of music by Schumann, Chopin, Debussy, Haydn and Rachmaninoff, as well as several engaging works by contemporary composers Peter Sculthorpe, Lowell Liebermann and another Texan, Elisenda Fabregas. Wright is indeed a phenomenal pianist, but also a profoundly insightful and imaginative artist who is fully aware that along with a virtuoso technique goes an awesome responsibility: making music. Indeed, what concerns him are not just the notes, nor how fast or slowly he can play them, but what goes on in between them.

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Copyright © 10 March 2001 John Bell Young, Tampa, Florida, USA






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