Pianist Jeffrey Siegel Wraps 30th Year at Center for the Arts with Keyboard Conversations®: Mozart and Friends

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Jeffrey Siegel performs at a grand piano, right arm outstretched over the keys.

Jeffrey Siegel performs Mozart and Friends on Sunday, April 16 at 7 p.m., his final Keyboard Conversations® event of the 2022/2023 Great Performances at Mason season, and of his 30th year at the Center for the Arts at George Mason University. Praised by the Washington Post for his "pianistic eloquence with a special gift for commentary," Siegel will present a program of masterpieces by Mozart, as well as magnificent music by composers who influenced him such as Joseph Haydn, and by those Mozart influenced including Beethoven.

Siegel explains, “The Mozart and Friends program is a particularly attractive one. How does Mozart write a set of humorous variations on the melody ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?’ How does Beethoven write stirring variations on ‘God Save the King?’ How can Haydn write joyous music and music of great pathos for the same instrument?”

Starting the evening’s program is one of Mozart’s most influential inspirations, Franz Haydn’s Gypsy Rondo, followed by Finale of Piano Sonata No. 20 in C minor. Next, Siegel performs and discusses Beethoven’s Variations on God Save the King, concluding with Johann Hummel’s Rondo in E-flat major, Opus 11 before a brief intermission. Mozart makes up the entirety of the second half of the program with Variations on Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman, K. 265, Adagio in B Minor, K. 540, and Rondo alla turca, K. 331. As always, Jeffrey Siegel invites his audience to ask questions following the performance.

Siegel notes, “It is such a great joy for me to do the programs at George Mason University. The audience is so very warm, appreciative, and receptive. The ‘need’ for great music in this impersonal, computerized age is, I believe, even greater than it was 30 years ago. My goal with these outreach Keyboard Conversations® is to make the listening experience more than ‘a pleasant ear wash of sound’ for the avid music lover and, just as important, to provide an accessible, inviting experience for someone new to classical music.”

Rick Davis, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason, recalls his first time seeing Jeffrey Siegel in concert. He reminisces, “I first heard Jeffrey Siegel in 1993 over the dressing room monitors in the Performing Arts building, where I was directing a play. It was a bravura performance of a fiery Louie Moreau Gottschalk piece. I was gripped. And then he started talking so wittily and eloquently about the music. This was like no piano concert I'd ever heard before, and the next time he appeared at the Center for the Arts, I attended in person, and have been a devoted fan ever since.”

Davis continues, “Jeffrey's warmth, love for music and musicians, respect for his audience, and wonderful playing create a unique experience with every Keyboard Conversation®. He is practically synonymous with the Great Performances at Mason series, helping us build a loyal audience for three decades."

You can purchase tickets for Jeffrey Siegel's Keyboard Conversations®: Mozart and Friends, and also arrive early before the performance, from 6 p.m.–6:30 p.m. in the Center for the Arts main lobby for a Young Artists Musicale, featuring piano students of Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association members.