Pianist Alexandra Mascolo-David to perform Feb. 26

Pianist Alexandra Mascolo-David will perform at Northwestern State University on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. The concert is part of the Louisiana Piano Series International. Tickets are $15. Students are admitted free. Dr. Francis Yang and Dr. Christine Burczyk Allen are the organizers of the Louisiana Piano Series International.

Mascolo-David will present a recital with commentary “Stylistic Characteristics of Francisco Mignone’s Twenty-Four Valsas Brasileiras (Brazilian Waltzes) for piano.”

Mignone (1897-1986) was one of Brazil’s most versatile artists. He was a composer of the first rank, as well as a teacher, accompanist, piano virtuoso, chamber musician, conductor, and an accomplished wind instrumentalist. The works “24 Valsas Brasileiras.” represent the Brazilian art music idiom, in that they combine African-Brazilian folk and popular idioms with elements of European art music. Specific musical characteristics resulting from the influence of the ethnic sources just discussed will be addressed, followed by a performance of selected valsas from this set of works.

“A splendid pianist—refined, searching and expressive, and her playing is loaded with insight and interpretative detail.” So wrote The Washington Post, after Mascolo-David’s performance at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in the nation’s capital. Mascolo-David has performed and led workshops and master classes in Europe, Asia and the Americas, including a New York debut recital at Carnegie Hall (Weil Recital Hall) in May 2004, which was favorably reviewed in The New York Concert Review.

She is a native of Portugal and has devoted the last three decades to exploring and unearthing the music of Portuguese and Brazilian composers, especially that of Mignone. Mascolo-David is in the forefront of presenting Mignone’s piano music, and her performances, especially of his “Valsas brasileiras” have been widely acclaimed. Her compact disc recording of Volume One of the “Valsas brasileiras” was highly praised by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution upon its release in 2001. Volume Two was released in 2007, and of both discs, the widow of the composer stated: “It was very emotional to hear pianist Alexandra Mascolo-David perform the ‘Valsas Brasileiras’ of my husband Francisco Mignone. Alexandra interprets Mignone with great sensitiveness, wonderful taste, and full knowledge of his compositional legacy. Undoubtedly, her musical contribution is important, of enormous beauty, possessing both a captivating sonority and a complete affinity with the romantic atmosphere of the waltzes.” Alexandra’s continuing research on Mignone’s music earned her a Research Excellence Grant from Central Michigan University to record Mignone’s “Fantasias Brasileiras” (Brazilian Fantasies) for piano and orchestra with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, under Raymond Harvey, for the White Pine Music recording label in a 2010 release. This recording is historically significant, as it is the first set of the 4 Brazilian Fantasies available to the public. Alexandra is also a founding member of Yara Ensemble, devoted to exploring the rich landscape of Iberian-American culture and heritage through music, videography and movement.