Reid Hall - April 11 - 7pm
(Re)creation: Preluding Across Time
Piano performance by John Kamfonas (CC '09)
as part of our Spring Awakening concert series
This event is co-sponsored by the Columbia University Club of France.
Spring awakening series
Exploring themes of rebirth and renewal, each concert will present modern transformations of a historical musical genre that underwent significant reinvention in the 20th and 21st centuries. This series will bring to light lesser-known works by American and European composers active over the past century whose groundbreaking creative visions continue to shape the trajectory of contemporary music.
New beginnings: the piano prelude
As the thaw of spring brings with it new beginnings and rebirth, the series opens with a solo concert devoted to the prelude, a genre whose title itself signifies, “introduction”—John Kamfonas traces the trajectory of this free-form, improvisatory genre from the Baroque period to its establishment as an important part of composers’ output throughout the 20th century. This program will include a broad stylistic cycle of 24 preludes by composers spanning three centuries including Frédéric Chopin, Claude Debussy, Alexandre Scriabin, Olivier Messiaen, Paul Hindemith, Maurice Ohana, and William Duckworth, among others. Kamfonas will include his own improvised preludes interspersed throughout the cycle, entering into a creative dialogue with composed pieces honoring the prelude’s historical identity as an improvised genre.
Embracing his penchant for improvisation alongside his passion for the classical and contemporary repertoire, American pianist John Kamfonas (CC ‘09) has given performances around the world, from New York to India, Paris to Beijing. Residing in Paris since 2013, John has conducted performance residencies at the Cité Internationale des Arts (2018, 2021) and at the Fondation des Etats-Unis (2014-2017) as a Harriet Hale Woolley fellow where part of his 2016 solo recital was broadcast nationally on French TV channel TF1.
John received a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University (CC) in 2009, a master of music from the Manhattan School of Music in 2011 and artist diplomas from the École Normale de Musique de Paris in 2017 and 2020 respectively. He is currently pursuing a PhD in the joint doctoral performance program between the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and the Sorbonne Université with scholarships from the Fondation Meyer and the Fondation Société Générale.