Spent a lovely 90 minutes at the Steinway Piano Gallery on Saturday, listening to a young pianist (and humorist) by the name of Julian Gargiulo. Born in Italy, Julian trained at the Moscow Conservatory and at the Peabody Institute. He now lives in New York, touring the country with a unique blend of piano virtuosity, his own compositions, and a little stand-up humor.
The audience was small, but we were treated to a rare live performance of Scriabin’s Sonata No. 2 in G minor. For a composer that doesn’t get much exposure in the United States, there were a significant number of Scriabin fans in the room. There’s a video of Gargiulo performing this same sonata on YouTube.
Gargiulo has a number of short composition featuring a jazzy chord structure and interesting rhythms. He told a story about trying to return home in Manhattan one day, and being unable to get around the Puerto Rican day parade. His frustration resulted in his “Puerto Rican Day Parade” composition, excerpted in another YouTube video.
Gargiulo says his goal as a performer, stopping between numbers to talk to the audience, is to tear down the walls that exist between audiences and performers in the concert hall. His approach is engaging and entertaining.