By Sheena Barnett
TUPELO – World renowned pianist Sara Davis Buechner’s debut performance with the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra is this weekend, and she’s playing what she calls the “Super Bowl of Mozart concertos.”
Buechner will join the symphony to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 in C Major.
“It’s one of Mozart’s last great masterpieces,” she said in a phone interview with the Daily Journal from her home in Vancouver. “It’s got very beautiful themes and an overarching structure of magisterial nature. It has a pomp and circumstance to it.”
The concerto takes the listener on a journey, she said.
“That’s one of the challenges of Mozart, in any case. It’s a comedy and tragedy. He’ll constantly do that, put you in a very serious mode, then flip the coin over,” she said. “For the performer, it’s almost like you’re having a conversation with Mozart on stage (the audience) can share and listen to. He’s a brilliant conversationalist.”
Buechner travels all over the world performing, especially in Asia, and she’s won a host of awards at piano competitions.
She’s currently an associate professor of piano at the University of British Columbia, and said she enjoys splitting her time between performances and the classroom.
“Performing is so direct and of the moment. Having said that, when you have a student who is very, very talented, that one-on-one dialogue can be very, very exciting and stimulating. The best kind of teaching gives me tremendous inspiration and a great deal of faith and hope in our young people,” she said.
Buechner last performed in the South in Memphis.
“I’m excited about this trip because I haven’t been to that part of the country in a long time – maybe 15, 20 years ago. When I arrived in Memphis, the taxi driver asked me what I do, and when I said I’m a musician, he said, ‘Well, I can take you straight to Graceland,’” she said with a laugh. “I’m very much looking forward to it, and I’m very excited to play with the symphony.”
• What: North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra featuring Sara Davis Buechner
• When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
• Where: Link Centre Concert Hall
• Cost: $30/adult day of show, $25/adult advance ticket, $10/student
• Info: nmsymphony.com, (662) 842-8433
• Extra: There will be a pre-concert dinner in the Link Centre Reception Hall at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Dinner is $35/person with wine available for purchase. Call (662) 690-4011 for reservations.