‘A Steinway Celebration!’ with pianist Barbara Nissman to be held at the Culture Center in Charleston

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History (WVDACH) will present an evening of great music and informal chat to celebrate the Steinway piano. “A Steinway Celebration!” features internationally acclaimed artist and Steinway “legend” Barbara Nissman. The concert on Wednesday, May 29, at 6 p.m. at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex, in Charleston is free and open to the public. Barbara will also take time to sign her new CDs and DVDs after the concert.

The program will include popular favorites by Chopin (“Heroic” Polonaise), Beethoven (“Moonlight” Sonata), Debussy’s Clair de Lune, and old familiar “chestnuts”  by Rachmaninoff and Liszt. It will be a fun evening for all!

A member of the inaugural class of Steinway Legends chosen from over a century of Steinway Artists, and a recent inductee into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, Nissman has performed with major conductors and orchestras on nearly every continent. She believes her mission is to inspire and uplift people through her music, and Barbara is still sharing her passion and joy with audiences around the world. She makes music relevant, connecting the composer to the listener, touching souls in the process.

Her recordings of Liszt, Prokofiev, Bartók and Ginastera are considered “definitive,” and she has garnered high praise for her series on 19th century composers, Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Rachmaninoff.  She is also in demand as a writer, lecturer, guest artist and clinician both in the US and abroad.

Long associated with the music of Argentine composer, Alberto Ginastera, Barbara is the dedicatee of the composer’s final work, the Sonata No. 3. Regarded as a serious Prokofiev scholar, Nissman made history in 1989 by being the first person to perform his complete piano sonatas in a series of three recitals in both New York and London. Her recordings represented the first complete set of Prokofiev’s piano sonatas made available on CD. BBC Magazine selected Nissman’s recordings as the best recordings of Prokofiev’s piano music. The Prokofiev Family Trust in the UK recently awarded Barbara a grant to film a video masterclass on his three War Sonatas.

Recently Barbara returned to Amsterdam and appeared before a live audience of 10-12,000 and a television audience of 1.2 million to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Prinsengracht concerts that she helped initiate in 1982.  These concerts have remained a popular summer tradition with audiences arriving on foot or in their boats to listen. 

In 2014, at Steinway Hall in New York, Nissman launched her record label Three Oranges Recordings. In 2017, the Three Oranges Foundation was established with the mission of making classical music accessible and relevant and supporting Nissman’s educational projects.

A recipient of the Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020 and a West Virginian “by choice,” Barbara now makes her home on a farm in Greenbrier County. On May 11, 2024, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Music degree from West Virginia University.

For more information about the concert, contact the WVDACH at (304) 558-0220.

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