Brevard Music Center opens 80th season with a swing


There’s one big requirement for a successful performance of Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F.

It’s gotta swing.

Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, performing the concerto in Brevard on Friday (June 24), said that many a classical pianist has struggled with Gershwin’s jazz-inspired work.

“The repeated notes and the rhythms are not natural for a classically trained pianist,” Thibaudet said. “You need to understand jazz. If you don’t know jazz, it would be like speaking a language phonetically — saying the words without understanding what you’re talking about. You have to find the right mood to give it that panache.”

Thibaudet, one of the most celebrated classical pianists on the international music scene, is a longtime exponent of Gershwin’s concerto.

His performance of the work on Friday will open the 80th season of the Brevard Music Center’s summer festival.

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