Deljavan – the new Italian piano talent playing in Boston
A powerful new talent from Italy, Alessandro Deljavan, made his U.S. East Coast debut October 19, with a magnificent reading of the Brahms Piano concerto No. 2 under conductor Benjamin Zander and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.
Zander told the audience, gathered for a pre-concert talk, that they were in for “one of the greatest piano performance you will hear in your life”. Expect “extreme elegance, tenderness and beauty,” he said. This was not mere Zander hyperbole. Deljavan delivered.
Deljavan’s Brahms kept the audience rapt. The concerto calls for control of dynamics, brilliant arpeggios and trills, melodic passages and contrasting fortes and pianos in quick succession. Deljavan, a Pescara native only 32 years old, gave it a mature and masterly treatment.
The audience fairly jumped to its feet at the dramatic final burst of the concerto, mixing stomps and yells with the extended applause. Deljavan was called back for two encores, both times to more standing ovations.
Deljavan displays his European musical style openly, injecting a highly personal air into his performance. His emotional investment is obvious in his swaying frame and his flying hands. When I asked him in a previous interview about his stage mannerisms he said everything comes from the heart, and any attempt to temper his impulses would harm his musicality.
He came to Boston with impressive credentials, considering his age. He has recorded about 40 CDs in solo and ensemble music and was a semifinalist at the Cliburn Piano Competition in 2013. His performance there created an international wave of “Deljamania” that continued for several days after his elimination. He told me he is now finished with competitions – too much preparation for too little gain.
Deljavan spoke openly of his career and his personal style in an interview in 2013. To see his detailed comments, go to:
Since the Cliburn he has performed throughout Europe plus solo engagements related to the Cliburn organization, and other recitals in California and Montana. The Boston premiere may prove a turning point. “You think so?” he said hopefully when I spoke to him after the concert.
Another version of this critique appeared in Boston Musical Intelligencer
Below Alessandro Deljavan by the author of this article Michael Johnson:
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