Tomorrow, Friday, January 20th at The Folly Theater, The Friends of Chamber Music will present Malcolm Bilson and Alexei Lubimov with Lifetime Achievement Awards. These two remarkable artists have re-invigorated the world of historic pianos, catapulting it into mainstream classical music. Their careers as performers, educators, scholars, and experimenters have energized classical piano performance with artistry, passion, and stunning new insights.
Malcolm Bilson is one of the world’s leading experts on the fortepiano. He spent most of his academic career at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY during a time when the Department of Music was emerging as a lively center for 18th-century studies. He was launched into international fame in the 1980s when he recorded the complete Mozart piano concertos with Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov is one of the most strikingly original musicians performing today. He has a dual passion for both baroque music performed on historical instruments, as well as contemporary repertoire. Overcoming the artistic and ideological restrictions of the USSR, he formed the Moscow Baroque Orchestra and was part of an underground movement to bring both new and early music to the masses.
In celebration of both pianists’ achievements, The Friends of Chamber Music has partnered with a local artist, internationally renowned ceramicist Rain Harris, in creating one-of-a-kind sculptures to be awarded on stage and displayed in the lobby at intermission. The Friends of Chamber Music’s President Cynthia Siebert will present Lubimov with his award at an elegant ceremony in Downtown Kansas City’s Historic Folly Theater. (Due to a recent surgery, Bilson will not be in attendance.) The ceremony will culminate in a ravishing concert by Lubimov. Appearing for the first time in Kansas City, Mr. Lubimov will be performing works by Debussy and Stravinsky. Be sure to get your tickets as Alexei Lubimov receives a Lifetime Achievement Award—handcrafted right here in Kansas City. Tickets are still available at chambermusic.org