University of Calgary

Portrait of Chopin

Pianist paints a
portrait of Chopin

By Tokie Brideaux

This has been a special season for pianist and professor of piano Charles Foreman as he presents “A Chopin Portrait” in the Celebrity Series.

In this cycle of concerts, Foreman is performing the complete works for solo piano by Frédéric Chopin. He will be the first pianist to attempt a cycle of 153 works in nine concerts over the next three years.

The notion for the cycle was born as Foreman was preparing his recent and highly successful cycle of the 32 Beethoven sonatas. He was discussing the Beethoven programs with his wife, pianist Kathleen van Mourik, when she told him she would rather hear him do the complete Chopin since “everybody does the Beethoven cycle.” Chopin is regarded as one of the most famous, influential and prolific composers of piano.

The concert on May 5 will be the third and last concert of this season. In it, Foreman will perform the 24 Preludes, Op. 28. The preludes are a series of short pieces written for the piano, one in each key signature. The preludes make an excellent introduction to the music of Chopin as they are an encyclopaedic catalogue of the composer’s moods, his original piano textures and his formal invention.

Although the preludes were not named or further described by Chopin, several names have been given to a few pieces including the longest and most famous Raindrop. The program will also include Nocturne in E Major, Op. 62, No. 2, Three Mazurkas, Op. 56, and Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise, Op. 22.

A Chopin Portrait III will take place on Saturday, May 5 at 8 p.m. at the Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall of the Rozsa Centre. Tickets are $25 (adults) and $18 (seniors and students) and are available through Campus Ticket Centre by calling 220-7202 or at the door. For more information please call 220-5089 or visit