By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
Friday evening (May 15th) the Clarksburg-Harrison Cultural Foundation will continue its series of ‘Ivory Evenings’ concerts held at Waldomore. This presentation will be the 17th presentation to be offered to the public in the local area, and seated at the Grand piano will be Barbara Nissman, who will offer selections by composers Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Ginastera, Chopin, and Liszt.
Born in Philadelphia, Nissman is an internationally acclaimed pianist who has performed with numerous leading orchestras in Europe and America including the London Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony, the Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Munich Philharmonic. In the U.S. she has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the National Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra, among others.
Ms. Nissman is frequently invited to present master classes at universities throughout the world – in the U.S., Europe, Russia, the Far East, New Zealand, and South America. How fortunate that she will give a master class at Waldomore on Friday morning! Thrilled to have the opportunity to participate are two piano students from WVU’s graduate piano program as well as a student from Fairmont State University and another from Elkins.
Nissman is hailed as “one of the last pianists in the grand Romantic tradition of Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Rubinstein”, a talented pianist who not only connects with the music and its composer, but one who makes music relevant to the listener, touching souls in the process. Not only has she performed with some of the major conductors in the world, she has also shared the stage with Don Henley of the Eagles and Billy Joel, performing on the “Walden Steinway” at Lincoln Center. She was also one of the participants with Leonard Slatkin at the Kennedy Center’s 25th Anniversary Gala Concert. Her benefit concerts have raised well over two million dollars for AIDS service organizations worldwide.
This highly acclaimed performer, writer, lecturer and frequent guest artist/clinician received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan where she also received the University’s highest award, the Stanley Medal, upon graduating from the School of Music in 1966. In 2008, Barbara received the Governor’s Distinguished Service to the Arts Award from the State of West Virginia.
Although Pennsylvania born, Ms. Nissman now calls the Mountain State her home. She resides on a farm and says that she finds it inspirational that her piano studio looks out upon the beautiful Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia where she can enjoy peace and tranquility.
Don’t miss the unique opportunity on Friday to hear Barbara Nissman masterfully play at Clarksburg’s historic Waldomore. While it may not be one of the large, grand halls that she is accustomed to, her spirited fingers will glide over the keyboard just as passionately in this more intimate setting … and her audience will enjoy it just as much!