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Laura Kaminsky is a composer who the New York Times describes as possessing “an ear for the new and interesting.” Her music frequently addresses critical social and political issues with a distinct musical language that the American Record Guide describes as “full of fire as well as ice, contrasting dissonance and violence with tonal beauty and meditative reflection. It is strong stuff.”

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In 2011, she composed her Piano Concerto: a work that was born out of international exchange and is inspired in part by the flow of two rivers on opposite sides of the globe. Kaminsky says that “visual images are the source of its inspiration, in particular, the light on both the Hudson River,” which she sees from her studio window in The Bronx, “and on the Neva River in St. Petersburg, Russia.”

In 2009, Kaminsky served as a Likhachev/Russkiy Mir Foundation Cultural Fellow, which focused on research of Soviet-Era music, and experienced return visits as an artist over a period of years. That sort of cultural exchange on an international level is what led her to write the piece, which musically addresses flow and stasis, and reflection and absorption. You can hear a performance of Laura Kaminsky’s Piano Concerto from ASU Gammage on this edition of Arizona Encore, on a piano-forward program that also features solo works by Liszt and Rachmaninoff.

Liszt - Concert Etude in D-flat Major, No. 3, S. 144, "Un Sospiro" - Morgan Beckstead, piano

Rachmaninoff - Variations on a theme of Corelli, Op. 42 - Cathal Breslin, piano

Kaminsky - Piano Concerto - ASU Symphony Orchestra; Jeffery Meyer, conductor; Ursala Oppens, piano

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