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John Cage: SONATAS AND INTERLUDES on the Fourth Friday Concerts – 3/27 in Annapolis

Posted March 1, 2015 8:09 am

Eliza Garth performs John Cage’s SONATAS AND INTERLUDES for prepared piano on the Fourth Friday Concerts series.

• Friday, March 27, 2015 at 8PM

• Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, 333 Dubois Road, Annapolis, MD 21401


“THE ART OF TOUCHING THE KEYBOARD” — 10/9 at St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Posted October 19, 2014 7:35 am

Eliza Garth performed the stunning new work Preludes for piano solo by Sheree Clement, and The Art of Touching the Keyboard, the brilliant, witty classic for piano solo by Dame Judith Weir.

Ms. Clement visited SMCM for the performance.

• Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 12 noon.

• St. Mary’s College of Maryland, St. Mary’s Hall

• Special pre-concert event the day before:  A Conversation with the Composer and the Performer, Wednesday, October 8 at 4PM, in Montgomery Hall room 25.

A World Premiere and a Chicago Premiere: Eliza Garth returns to the Floating World Gallery

Posted January 25, 2014 9:11 am

On November 9, 2013, Eliza Garth returned to Chicago’s Floating World Gallery with a new edition of  “The Enchanted Piano,” an evening of music for extended piano, prepared piano, piano strings, and piano with electronics.   The program featured the world premiere of  for Eliza, a new work commissioned for prepared piano by Chicago composer Nomi Epstein, commissioned by Ms. Garth.  Also featured were the Chicago premiere of Judah Adashi’s Nina, a loving tribute to the incomparable Nina Simone, and performances of Eine Kleine Mitternachtmusik (Ruminations on ‘Round Midnight), George Crumb’s radiant tribute to Thelonious Monk; Synchronisms No. 6 for piano and electronics by Mario Davidovsky, winner of the Pulitzer Prize; a selection of short works by Henry Cowell; and Interaction, Mei-fang Lin’s brilliant, colorful work for piano and electronics.

• Press release

For more information about the composers:






Floating World Gallery, one of the world’s leading dealers in Japanese art, offers private collectors and institutions the highest quality works of art.  The Gallery opened its new 8,200 square-foot gallery space in October 2009 and is now actively engaged in helping to educate the public and increase awareness of the rich world of modern Japanese art. Recent, critically acclaimed exhibitions have included “Creating What Has Never Been,” an exhibition of Japanese post-war paintings and contemporary ceramics (Sept. 24 -Nov. 19, 2010); and “Behind Paper Walls: Self-Printed Masterworks by Jun’ichiro Sekino” (Dec. 3, 2010 – Jan. 28, 2011).  Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. and by appointment. For more information about Floating World Gallery, please visit www.floatingworld.com  

The Piano Festival by the River — 2013 Edition

Posted 8:19 am

Four days of piano heaven.

The 2013 edition of The Piano Festival by the River at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, with Eliza Garth, Brian Ganz, and Beverly Babcock, took place over Labor Day weekend.

“The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but rather the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.”  -Glenn Gould

• Details here.

Now on YouTube: John Cage’s complete “Sonatas and Interludes,” performed by Eliza Garth at Chicago’s Floating World Gallery

Posted September 7, 2013 1:08 pm

Eliza Garth’s performance of John Cage’s complete Sonatas and Interludes in honor of the composer’s centennial, live at the Floating World Gallery, March 31, 2012, is now posted on YouTube.

New video! “The Enchanted Piano: Dances for Piano with Electronics, Piano Strings, and Amplified Piano”

Posted November 25, 2012 3:47 pm

See the video of The Enchanted Piano: Dances for Piano with Electronics, Piano Strings, and Amplified Piano; world premiere performance at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, October 2011.  James Martin, choreography; Eliza Garth, piano.

Find out more about this event.


Review in the Washington Post: Pianist Eliza Garth performs John Cage’s ‘Sonatas and Interludes’

Posted October 7, 2012 4:53 pm

By Joan Reinthaler, Published October 5, 2012

We expect music to play with both our minds and our bodies. We anticipate what’s coming next and then are surprised or gratified. With his “Sonatas and Interludes” for prepared piano, written after being introduced to the music and philosophy of India, John Cage, however, stripped away all this stuff. He intended it to be meditative in nature, a bridge between East and West, and its 20 short movements exist in the moment and set up no expectations whatsoever. It’s an hour of directionless music that hovers overhead, lingers from time to time, embraces occasional tensionless silences and rarely reminds you of anything. It’s also absorbingly lovely when played with the commitment and delicacy that pianist Eliza Garth devoted to her performance Thursday at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Center.

“Prepared” according to Cage’s instructions with an assortment of nuts and bolts, pencil erasers and plastic tubing that are stuck in between 43 of its strings, the piano in this piece is a whole percussion band that produces the sounds of gongs, bells, muffled thuds and some things too weird to describe, alongside, of course, the regular piano sounds of its un-fussed-with notes. Most of the hovering takes place quietly on the upper half keyboard and Garth, with a touch that allowed for almost ethereal transparency, played the meditative mind game expertly. That there was nary a cough, a dropped program or even an audible rustle anywhere in the audience through the whole hour spoke to her and Cage’s success.

See more reviews.

“A Big Piece with a Quiet Voice” — Celebrating the John Cage Centennial in 2012

Posted September 11, 2012 8:10 pm

In 2012, Eliza Garth celebrated the centennial of John Cage with multiple performances of his masterpiece for prepared piano, Sonatas and Interludes.

Described by the writer James Pritchett as “a big piece with a quiet voice,” Sonatas and Interludes is meditative in its esthetic; the “preparation” of the piano transforms its sound into an ensemble of gongs, chimes, and magical effects. Although Cage did not invent the instrument he named the “prepared piano,” he was a major force behind its development and is often associated with it.

An explorer at heart, John Cage studied with trailblazers (including Henry Cowell and Arnold Schoenberg), and then in turn paved the way for trailblazers, opening up musical pathways that would later be traveled and extended by minimalist composers.   In his mature years a disciple of Buddhism, he overturned conventional Western conceptions of the nature of sound and music.  He is generally regarded to be one of the most influential composers of the 20th century.

Ms. Garth’s appearances performing Sonatas and Interludes included New York City, Chicago, the University of Maryland College Park, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and Lorain County (Ohio) Community College.

Curious about the prepared piano? Listen to an excerpt here.

Eliza Garth interviewed in Cleveland Classical Online

Posted 8:02 pm

Read Eliza Garth’s interview with Mike Telin in Cleveland Classical Online. 

The Piano Festival by the River — “Music is the space between the notes.”

Posted July 12, 2012 1:48 am

The 2012 edition of Piano Festival by the River at St. Mary’s College of Maryland has drawn to a close, after four days of masterclasses, private lessons, student and professional recitals, and conversation about … all things piano.   Piano Festival by the River is a summer retreat for pianists.  Each year a conversational thread develops that weaves the events together.  This year, it grew out of Debussy’s famous statement: “Music is the space between the notes.”  Festival Director Eliza Garth was joined by Beverly Babcock and Brian Ganz.

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Featured Recording

Donald Martino: Solo Piano Music

Eliza Garth performs Pianississimo, Fantasies and Impromptus, and Suite in Old Form by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Donald Martino.  Ms. Garth’s critically acclaimed debut solo CD; the first recording ever devoted entirely to Martino’s piano music.  

Producer: Joanna Nickrenz; engineer: Marc Aubort.  Released by Centaur Records, Inc. (Centaur #2173) and available through digital download from Amazon and iTunes.  Hear a soundbite.

The companion recording is Centaur #2321See press excerpts.

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