VIRTUOSO PIANIST TO OPEN SEASON - The Coast Reporter October 20, 2006

Quebec born pianist, André Laplante, will open the Coast Recital Society's (CRS) 2006/07 season at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22 at the Raven's Cry Theatre.

Considered one of the great romantic pianists of this era, Laplante was born in Rimouski, where, like many musicians of his generation, he first encountered the piano at the local convent.

When his family later moved to the outskirts of Montreal, he continued his education at the music faculty of the Université de Montréal, and later at New York's Juilliard School and in Paris. He then tackled a number of international competitions and in 1978 won the silver medal at Moscow's prestigious Tchaikovsky competition, competing with 91 pianists.

This catapulted him onto the international stage, with appearances in Canada, U.S. (at Carnegie Hall among other venues) Europe and Asia, including a lengthy tour at the invitation of the People's Republic of China.

Laplante last perfromed on the Sunshine Coast during the 1988 CRS season. Here and around the world critics and audiences have praised his technique and musicianship: "He is capable of delivering the softest, most elegant trill as well as unleashing the most thunderous double-flated outbursts from top to bottom (and back) of the keyboard. Yet it is a technique fully at the beck and call of an artistic sensibility in the grandest sense," said one critic following a recital by Laplante in Columbus, Ohio.

The Toronto music critic Ken Winters says: "Laplante is not only a great pianist, but also a great musician, aurally, absolutely inside the music's fabric and momentum."

For his Oct. 22 concert, Laplante will play Johann Sebastian Bach's Adagio in A minor; an except from the Tocatta for organ in C major arranged by Ferruccio Busoni; the Sonata in E flat, K.282 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Ludwig von Beethoven's Sonata C Major Op. 53 (Waldstein); three Moments Musicaux by Franz Schubert; and the Sonata in B Flat minor, Op. 35 by Frédéric Chopin.

Some CRS subscriptions are still available. For subscriptions and information, call the Society at 604-885-0991. For single tickets to this and other CRS concerts, call Mary Lea Bell at 604-886-8330.