Two grand pianos on a concert hall stage is imposing, maybe even a little threatening. Even one piano - let alone two - can make a terrific amount of noise. But composers from Mozart to the moderns have been attracted to what two pianos (and two pianists) can do.
Sunday’s Symphony at The Met series brings Spokane Symphony pianist Linda Siverts and Brazilian virtuoso Aida Ribeiro together with the symphony to perform Francis Poulenc’s Concerto in D major.
Sunday afternoon’s program will also include Darius Milhaud’s “Saudades do Brasil,” and Gabriel Faure’s “Masques et Bergamasques.” Fabio Mechetti, the orchestra’s music director, will conduct. This program will be repeated at The Met on Tuesday night.
Poulenc composed his Two-Piano Concerto in 1932. Since then its zesty combination of popular and classical idioms has made it one of the most popular of works for two pianos and orchestra, rivaling even Mozart’s Two-Piano Concerto in popularity. Even so, this is its first appearance on Spokane Symphony programs.
Ribeiro grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She studied with Magda Tagliaferro in Paris, with Jacob Lateiner at the Juilliard School and with Thomas Mastroianni in Washington, D.C. In Brazil, Ribeiro won the Young Artist Prize in Sao Paulo and later received other prestigious Brazilian music awards, including the Heitor Villa Lobos Prize and the Calouros Cultura Prize, which underwrote her recording of Brazilian piano music. In Syracuse, N.Y., she and her husband, Fabio Mechetti, received the Tiffany Award for “outstanding service to music in the community.”
When Mechetti was appointed assistant conductor of the Spokane Symphony in 1984, Ribeiro began playing two pianos for fun with Spokane Symphony pianist Linda Siverts. They performed together in concert for the first time at The Festival at Sandpoint in 1985, playing Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals.”
Siverts, now in her 13th season as principal keyboard player for the symphony, is a graduate of Whitworth College. She studied there with Margaret Ott. She performed the original version of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and Arthur Honneger’s Concertino with the orchestra.
Symphonygoers should note the somewhat unusual times of the two performances - Sunday afternoon at 3 and Tuesday evening at 7:30.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: The Spokane Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Fabio Mechetti, with duo-piano soloists Aida Ribeiro and Linda Siverts Location and time: The Met, Sunday at 3 p.m. and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $8 to $18, available at the Symphony box office, 624-1200, and G&B; outlets