Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Sat, Apr 13 2019 8:00 PM

The Mills College Music Department and the Center for Contemporary Music present
Mills Music Now

(Dewing Piano Recital)

Joanna MacGregor is a popular English classical pianist. She is recognized as one of the world’s most wide-ranging and innovative musicians and has pursued a life connecting many genres of music defying categorizations. She combines the established piano repertoire complemented by her passion for jazz and new music and the championing of living composers in all traditions. She persistently challenges the divisions and labels which conventionally separate different traditions.

Saturday, April 13, 2019
8:00 pm
Littlefield Concert Hall

$15 general, $10 seniors and students
Tickets may be purchased at the door, or in advance at:

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Mills Music Now:

Mills College
5000 MacArthur Blvd
Oakland, CA 94613



Ludwig van Beethoven:
32 Variations in C minor

Frédéric Chopin:
Mazurkas Op.30 and Op.59

Alberto Ginastera:
Danzas Argentinas


Franz Liszt:
Nuages Gris

Franz Liszt:
La Gondola Lugubre I

Franz Liszt/Richard Wagner:
Liebstod from Tristan und Isolde

Ludwig van Beethoven:
Sonata in F minor Op.57 Appassionata


Joanna MacGregor is one of the world’s most innovative musicians, appearing as a concert pianist, curator and collaborator. Head of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music and Professor of the University of London, Joanna is also known as an artistic director of festivals and concerts series, including Bath International Music Festival and Dartington International Summer School.

As a solo artist Joanna has performed in over eighty countries and appeared with many eminent conductors — Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev, Sir Simon Rattle and Michael Tilson Thomas amongst them — and many orchestras, including the London Symphony and Sydney Symphony Orchestras; the Chicago, Melbourne and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestras; the Berlin Symphony and the Salzburg Camerata. She has premiered many landmark compositions by composers ranging from Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Django Bates to John Adams and James MacMillan. She performs regularly at major venues throughout the world, including the Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre and Barbican in London, the Sydney Opera House, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

Joanna directed the multi-arts festival Deloitte Ignite 2010 at the Royal Opera House which included many new art commissions, including a year-long installation by the remarkable artist Alice Anderson. She was Artistic Director of the Bath International Music Festival between 2006 and 2012, and Artistic Advisor for Aventure+, a Luxembourg Philharmonie orchestral series in 2012–13. She was appointed Artistic Director of Dartington International Summer School & Festival in 2015, and directs an annual Summer Piano Festival at the Royal Academy of Music.

As a recording artist Joanna is a veteran of over thirty solo recordings, ranging from Bach and Scarlatti to jazz and John Cage. Her own record label SoundCircus was founded in 1998 and has released many highly successful recordings, including the Mercury Prize-nominated Play and Neural Circuits, featuring Schnittke’s Concerto for Piano and Strings and music by Nitin Sawhney. Other acclaimed releases include Bach’s Goldberg Variations (recorded at the Mozarteum in Salzburg), Live in Buenos Aires, a four-CD Messiaen set, and the complete Chopin Mazurkas. Jazz recordings include Sidewalk Dances — music by the New York street musician Moondog — and Deep River, music inspired by the Deep South, with saxophonist Andy Sheppard.



Then came one of the day’s highlights: pianist Joanna MacGregor’s exceptional interpretation of the Goldberg Variations. With her tone as poised as it was subtly refined, she explored the many planes on which Bach’s structure operates, highlighting its protean variety of texture in a performance that touched the sublime.
Royal Albert Hall, The Guardian

Joanna MacGregor, making her Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut, was just the sort of soloist this music needs – firm of rhythm, incisive of attack, as coolly commanding at the keyboard as Boulez was on the podium. A terrific performance all around.
Chicago Tribune

She performed some of the most profound and inventive music in the piano repertory. From the beginning of her sixty-minute recital with the delicate Baroque extravagance of William Byrd’s Hughe Ashton’s Ground to ending with Astor Piazzolla’s most famous tangos, her performance was laden with bravura technique tastefully put to individual interpretation… Joanna MacGregor is to be applauded for bringing a challenging and diverse programme to a new audience who may not be regular classical concert-goers.
Vancouver Festival

Joanna MacGregor’s career is practically built on a reinvention of the star virtuoso tradition, applied to the often cerebral and style-oblivious world of contemporary music. But MacGregor’s verve, energy and astounding technique are always at the service of the music and never vice versa. Her ability to inhabit so many sound worlds with the same intensity and commitment is profoundly impressive – so why not flaunt it?
BBC Classical Review

It was the effusive spirit of British pianist Joanna MacGregor that stole the limelight. Her gregarious, jazzy style and rhythmic vitality speak volumes, bringing great passion and adventurous spirit to her music making.
The Australian, Sydney Opera House

MacGregor has played a huge role in British music over the past years, helping to sweep away the rather dusty old concert pianist image, wheeling and dealing with the best in jazz as well as being one heck of a classical and contemporary music player, not to mention conducting and composing.
Adelaide Advertiser, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Joanna MacGregor filled the Goldberg Variations with dancing energy and occasional moments of outright eccentricity, and in a brilliant stroke made the final aria emerge magically from the echoes of the previous piece.
Royal Albert Hall, The Daily Telegraph

Video link:
J. S. Bach
Prelude & Fugue No. 20 in A Minor BWV 865

Cost: $15 general, $10 seniors and students