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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Rossini, Saint-Saëns, and Mendelssohn

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra / Fort Worth / Music

At 18, the prize-winning Russian pianist Alexander Malofeev has notched up triumphs from his native Moscow to such distant music capitals as Tokyo, Beijing, Paris, Milan, and Amsterdam, to name just a handful. His vehicle on this occasion was to have been the surefire but peculiar Piano Concerto No. 2 by Saint-Saëns, which, per an inspired quip, “begins with Bach and ends with Offenbach”—tantamount, perhaps, to declaring that it moves from the cathedral to the cathouse. Alas, Malofeev has been denied a timely visa. The good news is that an estimable replacement artist will be on hand to deputize: Stewart Goodyear, 42, of Canada, noted for performing Beethoven’s complete piano sonatas, all 32 of them, in a single day. Patrick Summers conducts. Still, we’ll stay on the lookout for future sightings of Malofeev, who, notwithstanding his precocious ascent, is in no hurry. His studies in Moscow continue. His dream, he told an interviewer for the Louis Vuitton Foundation last year, is to win a place in the great Russian piano tradition of Sergei Rachmaniov and Sviatoslav Richter. To judge by his videography on YouTube, he is well on his way. An Apollonian clarity his been Malofeev’s hallmark from Day One, along with sheer joy in musical discovery. The kneejerk response in some quarters has been to predict that he will grow “deeper,” and so he may. Not that there is anything shallow about him now. —M.G.

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