Critic’s Choice

Tue Jan 16, 2018 at 12:39 pm


In 1981, at age 20, the Manila-born pianist Cecile Licad joined the likes of Van Cliburn, Eugene Istomin, and Joseph Kalichstein by winning the Leventritt Gold Medal.  After a decade or so in the superstar spotlight, Licad (like Kalichstein) turned chiefly to chamber music, collaborating with violinists Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Arnold Steinhardt, among others.

But her occasional solo outings have shown that she’s still got the goods in that department. The Key Pianists series will present her Thursday in Carnegie Hall’s intimate Weill Recital Hall performing music alternately poetic and knuckle-busting by Liszt (Sonata in B minor, and the Mephisto Waltz No. 1 as “enhanced” by Ferruccio Busoni) and colorful rarities by American composers Edward MacDowell and Elie Siegmeister.  One can hope for some encores by New Orleans-born Louis Moreau Gottschalk, a Licad specialty.

Cecile Licad performs solo piano works by Liszt, Siegmeister and MacDowell 8 p.m. Thursday in Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall.; 212-247-7800.

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