On Wednesday, November 20, 2019, at 7:00 PM, Magdalena Baczewska, esteemed pianist (and Director of Columbia’s Music Performance Program) joins forces with the internationally acclaimed Cassatt String Quartet (Muneko Otani, violin, Jennifer Leshnower, violin, Ah Ling Neu, viola, Elizabeth Anderson, cello) at the Italian Academy to perform two masterworks of Romantic chamber music.
Polish-born pianist and harpsichordist Magdalena Baczewska enjoys a multifaceted career as concertizer, educator, recording artist, producer, and administrator. Director of the Music Performance Program and Lecturer in Music at Columbia University in the City of New York, Baczewska has been acclaimed as a “world-class” musician (The American Record Guide), lauded as “eloquent & technically flawless” (The Washington Post) and “highly sophisticated and truly admirable” (The Weekend, New York) in her “taste and admirable sensitivity” (Palm Beach Arts Paper).
Having performed as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, China National Symphony, and Macao Symphony, among others, she has also made appearances with violinist Joshua Bell and Tan Dun, with whom she has shared extensive orchestral and chamber collaborations. She has appeared in New York’s Carnegie Hall, San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall, Beijing’s National Center for Performing Arts, Guangzhou’s Opera House, Shenzhen’s Polytheater, Paris’ Salle Cortot, among others. Baczewska is a laureate of the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Polish Minister of Culture, as well as several international piano competitions (the Kosciuszko Foundation’s Chopin Competition, the Dorothy McKenzie Recognition Award, Prix du piano Ecoles d'Art Américaines Fontainebleau, Grand Prix European American Music Alliance Paris).
Her 2016 album with the Paraty label, featuring works of Chopin and Szymanowski, is lauded for its “imagination and spontaneity” (Jan den Kruijiff, Musikalifeiten) and “magnificent, unique voice” that “ stylistically never falters” (Donald Isler, Classical Music Guide Online). The first pianist to play J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations twice in one evening--first on the harpsichord, then on piano--since Rosalyn Tureck’s 1977 double-bill Carnegie Hall performance, Baczewska has toured Europe and the U.S with double performances of the Variations, having also recorded them along with Strauss’ Sonata Op. 5 for her critically-acclaimed A Tribute to Glenn Gould. As BlueSleep® Artistic and Music Director, Baczewska produced the bestselling Music for Dreams set for the Google-popularized MetroNaps EnergyPod® to further BlueSleep’s treatment of sleep disorders.
An avid educator, Baczewska teaches full-time at Columbia University and as visiting professor at Accademia Europea Villa Bossi in Varese, Italy. She has been invited to conduct masterclasses at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing arts, having appeared as masterclass artist in the Beijing Central Conservatory, Grassland International Music Festival (Hohhot, Inner Mongolia); the International Keyboard Institute and Festival (NYC); the New York Piano Festival (NYC), New Music School (Chicago), and Charleston Southern University, among others.
The Cassatt String Quartet was the first quartet chosen for Juilliard’s Young Artists Quartet Program. Since then, they have performed at New York’s Alice Tully Hall, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood Music Theater, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Theatre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, and the Beijing Central Conservatory in China. At the Library of Congress, the Cassatt performed on the library’s matched quartet of Stradivarius instruments, and they performed the complete Beethoven Quartet cycle three times at the University at Buffalo.
The Cassatt has been heard on NPR’s Performance Today, Boston’s WGBH, and New York’s WQXR and WNYC. They have 30 recordings, and were named three times to Alex Ross’ 10 best classical recordings of the year in The New Yorker magazine.
The quartet is named for the celebrated American impressionist painter Mary Cassatt.