Coming up in Philly music: A piano spectacular

Natalie Zhu will be one of two piano stars taking the stage on February 17 and 18. (Image courtesy of COFE.)

Any concert featuring pianists Cynthia Raim and Natalie Zhu is guaranteed to be worth your time. A concert putting both of them on the same stage is an Event (with a boldfaced capital E). At the next Chamber Orchestra FIRST EDITIONS (COFE) program, Raim and Zhu will each play one of Mozart’s Concert Rondos for piano and orchestra. Then they’ll join forces for Mozart’s only concerto for two pianos and orchestra.

COFE is the latest brainchild of James Freeman, who founded Orchestra 2001 30 years ago. Each COFE program combines early works by Mozart with new works by Philadelphia-area composers. This concert will premiere pieces by two veteran composers who’ve proven they can hold their own on a program that pairs them with Mozart. Richard Danielpour’s A Simple Prayer is a wordless response to the current turbulence in American society. Jan Krzywicki describes his Capriccio as a free-flowing piece running through moods that include laughter, intensity, and mystery.

Chamber Orchestra FIRST EDITIONS will present Two Premieres and Early Mozart Magic, with Cynthia Raim and Natalie Zhu on Saturday, February 17, at 7:30pm at Haverford College’s Roberts Hall and on Sunday, February 18, at 7:30pm at Trinity Center for Urban Life (22nd and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia). The Haverford performance is free and open to the public with no tickets required. Tickets for the Center City performance are $20 ($15 for students and seniors) and they’re available at the door.

At right: Pianist Cynthia Raim will join Natalie Zhu to make a can't-miss event for Philly piano lovers. (Image courtesy of COFE.)

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