ANU School of Music's Piano lecturer Edward Neeman delivers heroic performance

ANU School of Music's Piano lecturer Edward Neeman delivers heroic performance
Edward Neeman. Photo: Cassidy Richens
Saturday 6 April 2024

"Putting together a program that included two 'heroic' works by Beethoven and Chopin, plus an autobiographical work of Grieg, the pianist, Edward Neeman, gave a heroic performance that was quite simply exhilarating.

Australian-American pianist Edward Neeman has performed across five continents, holds a doctorate from the Juilliard School and is currently a piano lecturer at the ANU School of Music.

Neeman’s performance of [Beethoven’s “Eroica”] Variations was full of energy and colour and, being so close to the artist in the small Tuggeranong Arts Centre theatre, there was the opportunity to see the complexity of the playing that the work required. It was a thoughtful and memorable performance.

The next item on the program, Grieg’s Ballade, was a subdued, melancholic work that seemed autobiographical.  There were echoes of homesickness for his beloved Norwegian homeland as well as the influence of the time of his musical education in Germany. Neeman’s sensitive playing brought out the emotional depth in this work.

The third item on the program was the well-known “Heroic” Polonaise by Chopin, a work that was also linked with revolution. His lover, the French novelist George Sand, declared that she felt a deep symbolic connection between this polonaise and the 1848 French Revolution.

Neeman gave this work a precise and bright performance that underlined the heroic themes that stir the emotions. It was the perfect end to a superb recital.

Or so we thought…

For an encore, Neeman invited his wife, Stephanie, also a brilliant pianist, to the stage and together, they played a four-hand arrangement of William Bolcom’s 1969 piece, The Serpent’s Kiss, a ragtime inspired work that told the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.

This work was given a playful and thoroughly enjoyable performance by the Neemans, complete with foot-stamping, piano-slapping, unexpected vocalising and physical comedy. It was a delightful conclusion to this heroic concert."


Original article posted on CBR City News by Len Power.



Updated:  10 April 2024/Responsible Officer:  RSHA Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications