Piano concert will be a fun, group effort

Event at the ACT, features many hands on one piano.

Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann are in Classical Coffee Concert finale

Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann are in Classical Coffee Concert finale

It all starts with one hand on one piano.

Then there are two, then three, culminating with six hands playing one piece on one piano.

The season finale Classical Coffee Concert will feature husband and wife piano duo Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann performing with series host Sarah Hagen.

Is there a reason to go from one hand to six on the piano?

“Yeah, because it’s fun,” laughs pianist Sarah Hagen,  who has performed around the world including at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

“Also, it kind of grows in excitement and volume. Each time you add a hand, you have more volume,” she said.

The concert will start with a piece written by Marcel Bergmann for a single hand. Then Hagen will play a piece for two hands. Then all three performers will play a piece called Der Eid des Hippokrates by Mauricio Kagel for three hands, using one hand each.

The piece for five hands is written by Maurice Ravel called Frontispice.

Then the group will play two pieces by Sergei Rachmaninoff on the one piano requiring all six hands.

The concert will finish with a piece also for six hands by Tomislav Baynov called Metrorhythmia.

Hagen chuckles thinking about the three of them manoeuvring around the one piano.

“We start laughing in the concert, we can’t help it ‘cause we keep bumping elbows. It’s not the hands actually, it’s the elbows that are the problem,” she said.

The last time Hagen played this program was a year ago. This will be the first time in Maple Ridge.

Hagen enjoys playing in smaller towns because of the intimacy of the concerts. She also loves to travel and has played in every province across Canada. She plays frequently in Sweden.

Hagen felt called to the piano as a child. As the youngest of five they had to wait their own turn for piano lessons but Hagen jumped ahead of her older brother.

“Obviously, my parents felt that I was asking for it in some way,” said Hagen.

“I think it was just in me. I have always felt that if you are called to the arts, you are really called to it,” she continued.

The Bergmanns are directors at the Langley Community Music School and were recently named associate artistic directors of White Rock Concerts.

They are the recipients of international prizes including the Dranoff International Two Piano Competition, an international competition based out of Miami, Florida and Provincia di Caltanisetta International Chamber Music Competition in Italy. They have also performed in recital with orchestras across North America and Europe including a recent appearance at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and in Munich in 2013.

The concert takes place at 10:30 a.m. on April 6 at the ACT in Maple Ridge, 11944 Haney Place.

At 10 a.m. coffee, tea and treats will be available.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for youth 24-years and under.

For more information call 604-476-2787 or go to http://www.theactmapleridge.org.