Monday, September 25, 2017

My Portrait of Pianist Ivan Ilić

I had promised my friend, Serbian-American pianist Ivan Ilić, to do a portrait of him. Months became years. I was working on it -- I wanted it to be just right. I tried many versions, and nothing seemed good enough.

I chatted about it with Ivan around the time he was recording the piano music of Morton Feldman. While listening to those incredible sounds I was infused with a sense of the spare, chaste, penetrating and profound quality of Feldman's vision as interpreted by Ivan. I realized I had to take the same approach in this portrait, to strip away all the busyness, and just let Ivan's personality emerge. Easy, right? Not so much, but now I was on the right path.

He said he liked it. (Phew!)

Ivan's new CD is Reicha Rediscovered, from Chandos.

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