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Menahem Pressler and Philip Thomson
Menahem Pressler (l), Philip Thomson (r)

The orchestras of Akron and Canton will kick off their 2009-10 classical series seasons with guest pianists performing concertos.

The Canton Symphony welcomes Menahem Pressler as part of their "American Living Legends" series. Pressler made over 50 recordings (most of them for Philips) as pianist for the Beaux Arts Trio, arguably the world’s best known piano trio. After over a half-century of acclaimed music making, Beaux Arts disbanded late last year (see Beaux Arts Trio Bows Out in WKSU Classical), and Pressler vowed to continue performing as a soloist. The Canton Symphony will accompany him in Mozart’s 17th piano concerto (K453).

Pressler hails from Bloomington, Indiana, but the Akron Symphony found their soloist right in their own back yard, so to speak: though Canadian-born, Philip Thomson is currently on the faculty of the University of Akron. Thomson is recognized for his interpretations of Liszt’s music and has recorded for Hungaroton, Naxos and Ivory Classics. He will join the orchestra for the Grieg concerto.

The Akron Symphony’s opening concert will be on Sunday, 13 September at E J Thomas Hall. Canton’s is set for Saturday, 10 October at Umstattd Hall. Tickets are available at their respective websites, or by phone at 330 535-8131 (Akron) and 330 452-2094 (Canton).

Further reading:

American Living Legends Concert at Canton Symphony

Northern Lights Concert at Akron Symphony

Menahem Pressler’s website

Philip Thomson’s biography (pdf) at University of Akron

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