Quills Quotes & Notes: Articles and Stories by Rosemary Phillips

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Sara Davis Buechner - Pianist

Top Class Diner - of Music- An interview with Sara Davis Buechner (October 2012)
B is for Brilliance - With the Vancouver Island Symphony
Links - To more information, formal biographies, web site, recordings and videos

INTRO: This interview article with Sara Davis Buechner has been written in preparation for her performance with the The Vancouver Island Symphony at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo, British Columbia, on Saturday, October 20, 2012.

Sara Davis Buechner
Sara Davis Buechner

Top Class Diner - of Music

An interview article with Sara Davis Buechner
By Rosemary Phillips, 2012

An ex-New Yorker (boldly admitting to ‘been there and done that’), and now a Vancouverite (since 2003), pianist Sara Davis Buechner is known internationally for her astounding virtuosity and yet when asked to talk about music compares herself to a diner. “They have everything on the menu; pork chops one night, chicken another. Someone can call me up for Mozart but I can do chamber music, dances, film scores, silent films and Gershwin. I have an eclectic taste, with lots of fun and variety.”

Pierre Simard, artistic director for the Vancouver Island Symphony, called Sara up for Beethoven. On Saturday, October 20 she will be performing Piano Concerto No. 3 for B is for Brilliance. “I’m really looking forward to this concert!” she said enthusiastically, then laughed; “I am honoured to have ‘B is for Brilliance’ attached to my name – but I can’t really put myself on a level with those fellows (the big B’s - Bach, Beethoven and Brahms).”

Brilliant Beethoven - No matter, with over 100 concertos in her repertoire (ranging from A to Z) and performances around the globe with prominent orchestras, recordings that receive regular airplay worldwide and a reputation as one of a few pianists to actively perform piano scores to silent movies (such as the restored Ben-Hur performed at the Lincoln Center), Sara is definitely up for the event and says of this particular piece, “It is in Beethoven’s 3rd that he achieved the epitome of the great classical concerto. It was his middle period; he knew exactly who he was with style and personality. There is utter perfection to the form and material. I often come back to the 3rd as my favourite Beethoven. When that piece is over and I’ve finished playing there is such satisfaction and contentment.”

Early beginnings - While stand-up comedy would be Sara’s second choice for a career, she knew from her earliest memories she would be a musician. “I was drawn to it when listening to the radio, and I touched the piano every chance I had. For a lot of child prodigies that’s the way it is; born with gifts and talents. I had the good fortune of a wonderful teacher who helped me develop them.”

Sara started music studies when she was just three. “My older brother was taking lessons from a teacher who came to our house in Baltimore (on the East Coast). She thought I was too young but once I had learned all my brother’s piano books she took me on. My parents hoped their children would have a better future; they had not been to college or travelled very much. Their emphasis was on good grades, a piano in the home, and music lessons. Even though they were poor and not musicians themselves they realized the value of a musical education.”

From New York to Vancouver - Most of Sara’s younger life was spent in the Big Apple. “I studied at Juilliard and went to various competitions.” What Sara doesn’t mention is the many prizes she won – from Salzburg to Sydney, Vienna and Moscow. “I have such an appetite for music; I love playing it, talking about it, and teaching it.” It was her passion for teaching music that brought Sara to Vancouver. “I always had my eye on the West Coast and when the position came up to teach at UBC I jumped at it.”

,strong>International notoriety of a different kind - But this is just the tip of Sara’s musical life. Would you believe she has been adopted by the Hanshin Tigers, Osaka’s baseball team? “The owner of the team is a music lover. He had a press conference where people took my photo and put a cap on my head like I was signing with the team. Whenever I am in Osaka I go to a game. In Japan I give lessons and master classes, and I’ve learned Japanese so that I don’t need an interpreter.”

Getting back to the diner - literally, what would be Sara’s favourite food? “That’s like asking my favourite composer. I can’t give a single answer. However, if it really came down to a last meal, it would be food to make me the most at ease and satisfied – a huge breakfast with pancakes, muffins, bacon, and lots of steamy hot coffee.”

B is for Brilliance - And so we leave you with not only the tantalizing and mouth-watering taste of the most delicious breakfast imaginable, but also the most exciting and beautiful upcoming performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concert No. 3 – to be relished. That’s ‘B is for Brilliance’ - three remarkable composers and one of the leading keyboard artists of our time. To find out more, visit the Pre- and Post-Concert talks. Then come and experience the music LIVE! It’s music that touches all the emotions, performed with passion and precision by the talented musicians of the VI Symphony – and the brilliant Sara Davis Buechner.

Tickets for B is for Brilliance with the Vancouver Island Symphony are available by calling the Port Theatre Ticket Centre in Nanaimo, British Columbia at 250-754-8550.

Links - To more information, formal bio and web site
For more information visit The Vancouver Island Symphony. Keeping music LIVE!
And for information about Sara Davis Buechner visit Sara's website

Follow this link to Spotlight with QQandN for a news release about B is for Brilliance with the VI Symphony and about the music being performed.

Note: There are many more articles on this site. Follow the link to view the Index of Articles.


Copyright Rosemary Phillips, Quills Quotes & Notes Enterprises, 2013
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