When: Sun., Feb. 14, 3 p.m. 2016
At some point in the early 90s I picked up a recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations by Hungarian-born British pianist András Schiff. That album proved to be a gateway to classical music for me, though I still consider myself a novice when it comes to the genre. In recent years I’ve been collecting the many solo albums Schiff has been making for ECM—and they have yet to disappoint. His latest effort, from 2015, features late work by Franz Schubert, part of the “Last Sonatas” project Schiff launched the same year. For that he’s playing the final piano sonatas composed by Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert—the four greats of Vienna’s classical era, and this weekend he’ll end the venture by playing the final sonatas from each of them. While I don’t feel qualified to analyze the works in any meaningful way, I can say that Schiff’s playing continues to be a key entryway for me. His tonal clarity, exquisite touch, and respect for the repertoire have helped him remain one of classical music’s most superb soloists (the 62-year-old was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2014).