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  • Rosemary Waller

Thursday April 11 is a special red-letter day for Music at Oakmont: it has taken us three years to book this exciting rising star on the classical music stage! At 1:30 PM in Berger Center, we are delighted to present pianist George Li in a concert of works by Beethoven and Liszt.

Mr. Li describes charmingly his realization of a particular affinity for Beethoven. As a child, he says, piano was simply a hobby. Then at age 11, he had an epiphany while playing Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto. “All of a sudden, in the middle of the performance I felt different. I was kind of transported in some other reality. And I felt all these emotions within the piece and within myself. After that moment I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.” For his Oakmont appearance, Mr. Li has chosen Beethoven’s Andante favori and Sonata No. 21, Op. 53 “Waldstein,” as well as Liszt’s Reminiscences of Don Juan and two selections from Years of Pilgrimage.

An excerpt from the program notes for the April 11 concert follows:

Beethoven: Andante favori WoO57 and Sonata No. 21 “Waldstein”

The now stand-alone Andante favori began life as the second of three movements of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 21 “Waldstein.” After a preview performance, the composer’s pupil and secretary Ferdinand Ries reported to Beethoven that a mutual friend had complained to Ries that the sonata was much too long. Beethoven, in full shoot-the-messenger mode, was furious with Ries. But after some reflection, the composer decided that the criticism was apt. So he excised the movement completely and substituted a new, much shorter Introduzione: Adagio to serve as a direct lead-in to the sonata’s third movement. In 1805, a year after the publication of the revised Sonata No. 21, the original second movement Andante was published as a separate piece.

Beethoven’s pupil Czerny noted that “due to its popularity (for Beethoven played it frequently in society), the composer attached the name Andante favori [favored Andante].”

For complete program and program notes, please visit our website


In April we will launch our annual Donor Drive. Donor envelopes will be included in the April and May concert programs. Checks should be made out to Oakmont Community Foundation, with Music at Oakmont on the memo line. We are most grateful to the Oakmont Community Foundation for their partnership in this endeavor, and we thank you, our audience, in advance for your generosity. Also in April: our 2019-20 season roster will be announced. Season passes may be purchased at the April, May, and October concerts, with details available at the April 11 concert.

WHAT: George Li, piano

WHEN: Thursday April 11, 2019, 1:30 PM

WHERE: Berger Center

ADMISSION: $20 or your season pass, at the door



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