Performing Arts: Extreme Chopin Quest

by Editorial

Piano talent, Brian Ganz, continues quest to perform nearly 250 Chopin works in the next decade, performing at the Strathmore.
By Tyler Sullivan

The second concert of pianist Brian Ganz’s “Extreme Chopin” quest to be the first to perform all the works of Chopin will take place at the Music Center at Strathmore on February 11. Photo by Michael Ventura.

Pianist Brian Ganz has undertaken a musical quest, stacking up the entirety of Frederic Chopin’s works, and setting out to perform every single one within the course of a decade. Coming out to nearly 250 pieces, the quest could only be undertaken by a true and devoted follower, one who feels the work of Chopin to the very heart of his core. For Ganz, Chopin’s work is just that, moving him so entirely that his next 10 years are devoted to recreating and experiencing Chopin’s notes on a grand scale, performing them for thousands at the Strathmore. What better name for his project than his “Extreme Chopin” quest.

Ganz began the project about a year ago with a sold out recital at the Strathmore Music Center. Hailed by the Washington Post as “masterly in his first installment of the complete works,” the performance hosted nearly 2,000 attendees, and dazzled all of them.

With his February 2012 program about to commence, set to begin February 11 at 8:00pm at the Strathmore, guests of the first endeavor are at the edge of their seats.

The second recital’s program will explore “Dances and Fantasies,” including Two Polonaises, Op. 40; Fantaisie (“Fantasy”) in F minor, Op. 49; Impromptu No. 2 in F-sharp Major, Op. 36; Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-sharp minor, Op. 66 (Posthumous); Waltz in A-flat Major, Op.42; Polonaise-Fantaisie, Op. 61; Four Mazurkas, Op. 6; Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Brillante, Op. 22.

“The program will include such beloved Chopin favorites as the Fantaisie-Impromptu and the ever popular Polonaise in A major,” Ganz said, “The Polonaise-Fantaisie, Op. 61, Chopin’s last large-scale masterworks for solo piano, will form the centerpiece of the program. It’s one of Chopin’s very personal statements, and relatively rarely heard.”

“Chopin’s music is the language of my soul, and I have dreamed since childhood of someday performing all of his works,” Ganz gushed, widely regarded as one of the leading pianists of his generation. “One of my lifelong goals has been to study every single note Chopin composed,” Ganz said. “This project gives me a lovely framework within which to reach that goal.”

We are excited to see the product of this intriguing quest and this artist’s true devotion and fascination with one of piano’s greats.

To purchase tickets and for more information on the event, please visit or call the Strathmore ticket office at (301) 581-5100.

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