Michael Mizrahi premieres video on NPR Music, announces new shows

Michael Mizrahi premieres video for
"Harpsichords" on NPR Music

Written by composer Troy Herion,
from upcoming album
out March 25, 2016

New tour dates with special guest Michi Wiancko added: 

March 15: Eau Claire, WI @ Gantner Concert Hall (Mizrahi solo)
March 24: Chicago, IL @ Constellation
March 25: Greenfield, MA @ The Arts Block
March 26: Brooklyn, NY @ National Sawdust  

Michael Mizrahi, photo credit Rachel Crowl

Michael Mizrahi, photo credit Rachel Crowl

Today, pianist Michael Mizrahi premiered the music video for "Harpsichords" on NPR Music. The two-minute video features excerpts from the piece of music of the same name written by composer Troy Herion, which is featured on Mizrahi's upcoming album of solo piano works, Currents, out March 25.

The video was animated in a rotoscoping style by artist Eno Swinnen, a technique that includes tracing over filmed footage, one frame at a time then re-drawing the images. The video was directed by Alex Tyson. 

"Mizrahi's playing is rhythmically alert and lyrical in music that shifts from the concision of a Baroque toccata to the sensuosity of a Chopin nocturne."
- NPR Music


Watch the video for "Harpsichords" on NPR Music

Michael Mizrahi's album Currents brings together six impeccably performed and recorded new American piano works, almost all written specifically with Mizrahi’s singular sound and approach in mind, and featuring composers Sarah Kirkland Snider, Troy Herion, Mark Dancigers, Asha Srinivasan, Missy Mazzoli, and Patrick Burke. As with Mizrahi’s widely acclaimed New Amsterdam debut The Bright Motion (2012), Currents showcases the continued vitality of the piano’s exceptionally rich musical heritage while exploring its capability to express the most contemporary of musical ideas. The result is a significant addition to the solo piano repertory of the 21st century that, as the title suggests, embodies movement forward -- building on the great piano works of the past while propelling the solo piano repertoire ahead in a new and energized direction.

Currents will be celebrated with a string of album release performances including March 15 at Gantner Concert Hall in Eau Claire, WI; March 24 at Constellation in Chicago, IL; March 25 at The Arts Block in Greenfield, MA; and March 26 at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, NY. All but the March 15 event will feature special guest Michi Wiancko.

Almost all of the pieces on Currents were commissioned and premiered by Mizrahi, and composed with his hands, sound, and approach to the keyboard in mind. Mizrahi communicated frequently with the composers throughout the process of learning, performing, and recording their music, resulting in an album that is profoundly personalized. The album opens with the title track,Sarah Kirkland Snider’s “The Currents”, flowing from start to finish, with currents of sound pulling the listener through eddies and whirlpools along the way. Troy Herion’s “Harpsichords” follows, evoking a transparent Baroque texture, replete with trills and shakes. Mark Dancigers’s “The Bright Motion Ascending” -- the third installment in his Bright Motion trilogy written for Mizrahi -- explores the vibrant upper reaches of the instrument before plummeting back to Earth with a cataclysmic final chord.

Next is Asha Srinivasan’s “Mercurial Reveries” is a probing five-movement work that draws on her Indian American heritage and is in one moment domineering and terrifying, and in the next, delicate, docile, and nostalgic.Missy Mazzoli’s “Heartbreaker” begins with focused precision and evolves into a trance-like state that eventually breaks down in a schizophrenic collapse. The album closes with Patrick Burke's “Missing Piece”, in which piquant dissonances into slow-moving triadic harmonies that plumb the lowest ranges of the piano. The works exhibit a tremendously varied compositional perspective, but feel unified by their custom design for Mizrahi’s sound, approach and virtuosic performance. Currents is at once both a vibrant reflection of the solo instrument’s storied past and charged movement in a direction it has not yet been.

Praise for Michael Mizrahi:

"...Michael Mizrahi is one of those musicians who is endlessly fascinated by everything and is, as a result, endlessly fascinating himself."
– WQXR New York

"[T]he gifted pianist Michael Mizrahi...plays with both tenderness and fierce beauty." – NPR

“A soloist of the first rank"  – Textura

Currents track list: 

1. The Currents (Sarah Kirkland Snider), stream
2. Harpsichords (Troy Herion), video
3. The Bright Motion Ascending (Mark Dancigers)
4. Mercurial Reveries - Movement I (Asha Srinivasan)
5. Mercurial Reveries - Movement II (Asha Srinivasan)
6. Mercurial Reveries - Movement III (Asha Srinivasan)
7. Mercurial Reveries - Movement IV (Asha Srinivasan)
8. Mercurial Reveries - Movement V (Asha Srinivasan)
9. Heartbreaker (Missy Mazzoli)
10. Missing Piece (Patrick Burke)

Michael Mizrahi's upcoming performances
with special guest Michi Wiancko:

March 15: Eau Claire, WI @ Gantner Concert Hall (Mizrahi solo)
March 24: Chicago, IL @ Constellation
March 25: Greenfield, MA @ The Arts Block
March 26: Brooklyn, NY @ National Sawdust