MUSIC Whether it was four women playing together on two pianos or Greek compositions played by John Kamfonas, it was a grand celebration of music

After a summer break, the Bangalore School of Music returned to the stage in the first week of June with a piano concert, “Eight Hands Two Grands” which was held at the Alliance Francaise.

The performance saw pianists Rebecca Thomas, Berenice de Gama Rose, Neecia Majolly and Bethel Tsuzu Therie, who played in two pairs keeping with the theme of eight hands.

Fascinating teamwork

The four women, who are all accomplished pianists and grew up around music, played with ease and familiarity. What was most fascinating to watch was the teamwork and timing as Rebecca and Bernice shared one piano and Neecia and Bethel, the other. It was a quality production that showed them off as seasoned, mature musicians.

Together the women interpreted classics by Bach, Ravel, Beethoven and Moszkowski among other legendary names and presented a concert that showcased tremendous skill and enticing music. The concert marked the beginning of a series of concerts that will continue through the coming months as a part of the Odyssey 2012 celebrations – celebrating 25 years of the Bangalore School Of Music.

The celebrations continued with a performance last week by John Kamfonas who was recently honoured with the first prize at the Art of Piano Summer Festival Piano Competition held in Ohio for his performance of works by Franz Liszt.

His confidence with Liszt was on display as he chose to play the composer's classic, “Harmonies du Soir”, which translates to evening harmonies. The piece romanticises dusk and brings to mind images of evening walks in quiet places and moonlit skies.

The musician, who is of Greek origin also played a few selections from “For A Little White Seashell” by Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis. While there are 12 compositions in all, John chose four. He started with “March” and then continued with “Syrtos” followed by “Nocture” and closed it with “Kalamatianos”. Both “Syrtos” and “Kalamatianos” are piano arrangements of traditional Greek dances.

Kamfonas is also known for his improvisations, a style he adopts quite often. The moment is completely spontaneous and unplanned and the course of the music charted by the place, ambience, audience. Kamfonas explains why his improvisations are special: “It is something that I will never play again and exists only in the moment that I share with the audience in this space and time, and then it is gone, forever.”