Written by Joe Scotchie Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00
It was the day that Roslyn conquered Carnegie Hall.
On Sunday, Oct. 27, Roslyn native Daniela Liebman and East Hills resident Jordan Urbach both played at that world famous concert hall. Liebman performed Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto #2 on piano, while Urbach played violin on a
Brahms concerto. Both performed with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony. The reviews were excellent as both also played in front of a sold-out audience.
In addition to the Shostakovich piece, Liebman also performed Brahms’ Violin Concerto, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture and Dvorak’s Carnival Overture.
The performance was so stunning that Liebman was called back by the enthusiastic audience for two encores, both of which were accompanied by standing ovations.
“The audience was blown away with Daniela’s remarkable talent, poise and musicality,” said a longtime fan that was in attendance at the concert.
Also blown away was a critic from Lucid Culture, an online journal of classical music.
“The big story at the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony‘s performance at Carnegie Hall was pianist Daniela Liebman’s debut,” the review stated. “If the thought of an eleven-year-old tackling Shostakovich in front of a sold-out house makes you wince, you’re not alone. What’s the likelihood that a young middle-schooler, with her limited life experience, slight build and small hands, would have the stamina and technique, let alone the emotional depth, to deliver anything more than a rote version of the composer’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 102? This isn’t Shostakovich the outraged witness; this is the twentieth century’s greatest musical ironist at the peak of his sardonic, puckish, satirical power. Shostakovich wrote it in 1957 as a showcase for his pianist son Maxim, obviously something of a parody of the sturm und drang of the traditional High Romantic concerto form. But the simple fact that Daniela Liebman would choose this darkly amusing piece, with its seething anti-fascist subtext, over, say, something more straightforward by Beethoven or Brahms or Mozart, says a lot. And she seemed to intuitively grasp it, playing with a deadpan intensity and just the hint of a wink, whether adding a touch of evil when the dancing first movement morphed into a coldly marionettish mockery, or with a coolly single minded focus as the piece playfully slid into 7/8 time in the final movement. Shostakovich himself had a hard time getting his own hands around several of the rising unison passages that occur about midway through, but Liebman pulled them off with aplomb. Depth is not a quality that only older people can access, and Liebman left no doubt that she is a deep soul. She also loves the spotlight, treating the crowd to rapid fire, triumphant solo versions of Vitaly Fillipenko’s cruelly difficult, staccato Toccata as well as a Chopin etude, earning more than one standing ovation in the process.”
From there, Liebman, along with her musician father, Robert, a Roslyn native, was off to Munich, Germany where she was chosen by the famed Chinese pianist Lang Lang to perform with his orchestra.