José López, piano
Pianist José López returns to Old First Concerts with a performance of rarely heard works by 19th century Cuban-born composers José Comellas and Nicolás Ruíz Espadero, along with Charles V. Alkan’s Symphony. Comellas, who studied at the Leipzig Conservatory with Ignaz Moscheles and lived part of his short life in the United States, published a number of miniatures, including several nocturnes and the 1st piano sonata written by a Cuban composer. The introverted Espadero, a close friend of Gottschalk, was the most renowned Cuban composer of his day, producing a considerable body of works, including transcriptions from Verdi’s Traviata and Donizetti’s Poliuto, never before performed in the Bay Area. Charles V. Alkan’s Symphony, comprised of four etudes from his formidable Douze études dans les tons mineurs, Op. 39, rounds up the program.