On Wednesday, March 23rd, Chamber Music San Francisco will present a one-night-only concert, The Maisky Trio, featuring world-renowned cellist Mischa Maisky who is one of the best modern-day musical storytellers. Plus, scroll below to access $10 off your purchase for tickets to this special performance!
By Kari Lincks Coomans, CEO of Red Curtain Addict
One of the pieces that I continuously listened to during the pandemic (to reflect, to meditate, and "escape from it all") was Bach's Cello Suite No. 1. Have you heard of it? I bet you have...! And if you've ever looked it up on YouTube, chances are, you've come across Mischa Maisky's recording that has received over 50 MILLION views.
First off, I always liked this piece (particularly the prelude) because it has so many high and low emotions to it. It never plateaus. It's simple, yet it demands your attention and you can completely get lost in it. But my appreciation for the piece turned into infatuation when I heard the way Mischa interpreted it. From the notes that he holds on to, to the pauses he takes to emphasize the next, it is one of the few videos that I've been able to find that truly captures storytelling through classical music.
From his facial expressions to the way he leans in, it almost seems like he composed it himself because it feels, sounds, and looks so personal. It's absolutely exquisite. Click above watch it yourself...!
When I heard that Mischa will be performing LIVE in San Francisco this spring, I nearly fell off my seat! Mischa lives in Belgium so to have him visit and perform live in the city is a real treat! And, to have the opportunity to sit down and virtually meet him was a dream come true!
Use MISCHA22 at check out to receive $10 off your purchase
Scroll below to read through some of the highlights from our conversation and to find out more about his upcoming concert, The Maisky Trio, with Chamber Music San Francisco on Wednesday, March 23rd...!
Can you tell more about the music you will be playing at the CMSF Concert and why you have selected these particular pieces to perform for this performance?
"I was inspired by my daughter to add Clara Schumann's 3 Romances to the program," says Mischa. Mischa wasn't familiar with Clara's works and her story until it was brought to his attention by his daughter, Lily, who will also be performing with him. "And one of Clara's favorite songs was Brahms' Violin Sonata No.1 in G Major (which will also be on the program)... Clara Schumann loved it so much that she specifically asked Brahms to play the last movement at her funeral."
"It is arguably one of my favorite pieces to play... something about it... I'm usually so emotionally drained from playing it, I have to take a break afterward... Something about it...(shaking his head) It's too much to express in words. So, the combination of Clara Schumann's work and Brahms' Sonata made sense to combine in the program."
Mischa will also be joined by his daughter and son to perform two other pieces. Scroll below to find out what they are...!
I'm personally excited that this performance will also feature your daughter and son (Sascha and Lily)! Can you tell me a bit more about the music you will be performing together?
"It was always a dream in my life to make music with my children. And now it's a dream come true!" says Mischa. The group will be playing Schubert's Notturno for Piano Trio that might be recognizable if you are a fan of the TV series, Hannibal (third season). You can listen to the trio's live recording here that was created at a musical festival in Switzerland. The second piece will be Mendelssohn's Piano Trio No. 1. "We've played the Mendelssohn trio together several times but it's relatively new to our trio repertoire," says Mischa. "It's certainly a wonderful piece and we're looking forward to playing it very much!"
Sascha Maisky started playing the violin at age three and at just age eight, he made his Carnegie Hall debut! As a soloist or chamber musician, he has played in prestigious stages such as Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, Buckingham Palace, the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Brussels Conservatory, Prague Castle, and more. Talk about talent!
Lily Maisky started playing piano at the age of four and was classically trained throughout her childhood. She later studied jazz piano at Purcell School of Music! When she's not playing with the trio, you can find her making concert appearances throughout Europe and she regularly tours the Far East, North, and South America. Lily is a Steinway Artist alongside other notable pianists, such as Lang Lang, Diana Krall, Billy Joel, among many more.
Needless to say, this family is quite impressive and it will be exciting to see them perform together!
**Use MISCHA22 at check out to receive $10 off your purchase**
I'm a huge fan of your Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 recording. When I see you play, it seems to hold so much meaning for you. What story were you telling with this piece and what do you typically think about when you perform it?
"In a way, I would say music is something like my religion and the Bach Suite is like a Bible," says Mischa. "No matter how many years (I've played it for over half a century) it's still an endless process. When it comes to Bach's Suite, there is limitless interpretation, like the Bible. In some ways, it can seem like a completely different book. The same goes for this. I have over 55 different recordings of Bach's suites. And it's amazing how different it can sound when comparing them. Sometimes you can hardly recognize it's even the same music."
"Typically when I'm playing, I'm fully concentrated on the music. When I play in concerts, I never see the audience, in particular for Bach Suites, because it's incredibly demanding and requires incredible concentration and energy."
"I try to spoil this music as little as possible. This music is so great and inevitably, no matter how hard we try, we pull it somewhat down closer to earth. But I try to bring the audiences up closer to the music, as opposed to bringing the music down to earth."
**Use MISCHA22 at check out to receive $10 off your purchase**
We are beyond excited to see him perform live in a concert presented by Chamber Music San Francisco at the Herbst Theater on Wednesday, March 23rd! Tickets are going quickly so make sure to grab a pair (or two!) before they're gone. We've definitely got ours and we hope to see you there!
Red Curtain Addict Insider: Chamber Music San Francisco (CMSF) chooses their performers not only for their musical abilities but for their ability to connect with audiences. The thrill of the live concert experience is possible because it is real people performing for real people.
CMSF believes that the combination of three key ingredients--top-notch musicians, a willing audience, and an intimate theater--produces an exhilarating experience and they strive to have each of their concerts be a memorable event. Chamber Music San Francisco is dedicated to the presentation of chamber music concerts and recitals, presenting both top-quality touring artists and fine musicians from the Bay Area. You can find out about their other concerts here!