Musical journey: Italian pianist to perform with Tupelo Symphony Orchestra

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

Roberto Plano has special plans in store for his audience this weekend.
The Italian pianist, who has won the Cleveland International Piano Competition in 2001, the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2005, Laureate of the 2003 Honens International Piano Competition and the 2006 Axa Dublin International Piano Competition, is performing for the first time with the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra on Saturday.
“I can’t wait to do Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 with them,” he said in an interview with the Daily Journal.
From his passion for the piece to his love of performing, he hopes to leave an impression on his audience.
He spoke about his love for the piece and performing in an email interview with the Daily Journal last week.

Daily Journal: Tell me more about Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2.
Roberto Plano: “This concerto is among the most famous and beloved classical music pieces of all ages. I fell in love with it when I was a child, and since then this piece has been one of my favorites. I played it for the first time when I was a teenager, and I still remember all the goosebumps that I felt throughout the whole piece. Now that I’m more mature, it’s wonderful to read through what I learned when I was younger and find in the score new things to enjoy and to transfer to the audience. The piece was written after Rachmaninoff was derided by contemporary critics for his earlier composition, which led to a depression that lasted for several years. But this concerto, which was dedicated to his psychologist, not only restored Rachmaninoff’s self-confidence, but led him to an incredible success.”

DJ: Tell me about how you perform and put your own personal touches on a solo performance.
RP: “In a performance I always try to be myself. I try to express my feelings in the best way, so that the audience can feel them and be with me in the special journey set by the music. I don’t want them to just sit and enjoy, but really live the music and feel it. It’s very difficult, of course, because most of the time you play music composed centuries ago, and you also have to pay close attentions to what is written in the score, avoiding to take much freedom. But it’s my goal to create a unique atmosphere and to feel that the audience is with me.”

DJ: What’s in store for you for the rest of 2012, and what’s on your schedule for 2013?
RP: “This season I’m working on may projects, including the recording of Luchesi Piano Concertos (he was an Italian composer of the 18th century, completely forgotten nowadays), the complete recording of Scriabin’s Piano Sonatas (one of the composers that I love the most), my first performance of the Brahms 2nd Piano Concerto (with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra) and many concerts around the world.”
sheena.barnett@journalinc.com

On Stage
WHAT: Tupelo Symphony Orchestra with Roberto Plano, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20

WHERE: Link Centre Concert Hall, Tupelo

TICKETS: $25/adults, $10/students
INFO: (662) 842-8433