Virtual Performance & Q&A: Shai Wosner

By Brian Potter on April 26, 2020
Shai Wosner
Shai Wosner, photo by Marco Borggreve

Following our initial video Q&A and mini-performance with Amy Yang, this week we present another intimate video portrait of an artist appearing with PCMS this fall – the superb pianist Shai Wosner.

Shai's upcoming recital (Dec. 4) marks his eighth appearance with the Society. Born in Israel and educated at Juilliard, he has gone on to have an internationally acclaimed career, performing a broad range of repertoire with a degree of virtuosity and intellectual curiosity that has led audiences and critics to note his “keen musical mind and deep musical soul” (NPR).

Offering a snapshot of a day in the life of an artist during quarantine, Shai invites us into his home and musical world while treating us to a performance of an excerpt from Beethoven's Diabelli Variations and answering a wide-ranging set of interview questions. We had a lot of fun crafting them and hope you enjoy getting to know another of our favorite artists.

Titled Variations on a Theme by FDR, Shai’s December 4 recital program weaves newly commissioned works by five American composers in and around Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. The theme is a quote from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s address to the Daughters of the American Revolution: “Remember, remember always, that all of us… are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” Each contribution to this new collection is a “variation” on this theme, with each composer employing the story of a specific immigrant as inspiration. Beethoven used a similar idea to test his creative powers when he accepted Anton Diabelli’s invitation to write a variation on a simple C Major waltz, the proceeds from which were to support orphans and widows of the Napoleonic Wars. Watch Shai's video preview of the program below: