Chopin's 200th Birthday Celebration

Less ardent music lovers might have a hard time relating to the level of passion pianist Adam Golka has for Romantic composer Frèdèric Chopin. "For a musician, [Chopin's music] is like looking at the Pyramid of Giza," the 22-year-old virtuoso says. "It's like, 'No way, was this really constructed by a human being?'" Golka, a native Houstonian who currently studies in Baltimore under the legendary Leon Fleisher, will share his love for the prodigious Pole at the Chopin Society of Houston's Chopin's 200th Birthday Celebration. The high point of the two-day event will be the gala concert, when Golka and the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (conducted by Adam's older brother, maestro Tomasz Golka) will play both of Chopin's published piano concertos, about 70 minutes of music.

Golka, of course, is up to the task: "I wouldn't be crazy enough to do both of them if they weren't old warhorses of mine." (His concert debut was Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 at Jones Hall with the Houston Symphony at age 14.) Even if classical music isn't your thing, Golka believes Chopin can reach you. "Chopin is poetry at the piano. It's very moving, very involving," he says. "You'd have to be pretty out of touch with your senses to not be excited by Chopin." 7 p.m. Rice University, 6100 Main. For a full schedule, visit $15 to $30.
Sat., Feb. 27; Sun., Feb. 28, 2010

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