An Evening with the Votapeks

Tue, July 15, 2014 at 7:30 pm
Wellspring Theater, Epic Center

Pianist Ralph Votapek’s early triumphs — as winner of the prestigious Naumburg Award and gold Medalist in the first Van Cliburn International Piano Competition — were just a prelude to an even more remarkable career.

Votapek’s compelling style combines fire, poetry and warmth with fastidious clarity and electrifying rhythmic flair.

With literally hundreds of appearances with major American orchestras, Votapek has also performed across the world, including a special commitment to Latin America, where he has toured every other year for more than 42 years.

In this performance Ralph will be joined by his wife Albertine in a two-piano recital of works by Schubert, Debussy and Piazzolla.

In his own words

When reminiscing about his Van Cliburn win, Votapek says he was “very happy” with the first Cliburn, especially for the fact that all contestants stayed with host families with pianos.

“I had been in many [competitions], winning some, placing in some, losing some. Especially in New York there was no such thing as host families; you just showed up, and if you had a piano to practice on, fine, if not, tough luck.

“In Fort Worth they almost killed you with kindness. You were a star when you got off the airplane, before it began.”

Born in Milwaukee, Votapek began his musical education at 9 and studied at the Wisconsin Conservatory, Northwestern University, the Manhattan School of Music, and The Juilliard School.

Votapek has served as Artist-in-Residence at Michigan State University where he is currently Professor Emeritus of Piano at the College of Music.

Fontana welcomes back an old friend for a fun evening of beautiful piano music!