An Inspiring Collaboration

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One of the great joys of being a conductor is collaborating with guest soloists whose artistry and skill inspires everyone around them. Such was the case last month at the Frederick Symphony concert on May 7, 2011 which featured pianist Jeffrey Chappell performing Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto. Not only was it a privilege to work with Jeff, my colleague at Goucher College, but it was a rare opportunity to collaborate on what is widely considered the world’s most demanding piano concerto.

Elisa Koehler conducting the Frederick Symphony Orchestra
Elisa Koehler conducting the Frederick Symphony Orchestra (photo extracted from a video using the Freeze Frame feature in iMovie)

Jeff wrote about the performance and how he prepared for it on his blog  (entries dated May 23-31, 2011) and even said it was “the best concert I ever gave in my life so far.” Now, I’ve been privileged to hear Jeff perform many times (including a dazzling improvised fugue, all styles of jazz and classical music, and his own brilliant compositions), so this was quite a profound statement. But after reading about Jeff’s experiences on his blog, I have a deeper understanding of his perspective. There was also an article about the concert in the Frederick News Post. (not a review; it appeared before the concert).

Thanks to the efforts of Ted King of King Video Productions , and with the permission of Jeff Chappell, videos of the complete performance (the first movement is broken into two parts) are now available on YouTube and are embedded below. Enjoy!

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