Piano Duo – Sonya and Lisa – Handwork – The Bach Goldberg Variations

//Piano Duo – Sonya and Lisa – Handwork – The Bach Goldberg Variations
Piano Duo – Sonya and Lisa – Handwork – The Bach Goldberg Variations 2018-04-11T22:36:13+00:00


Lisa and Sonya rehearsing in the Peristyle Theatre, Toledo Museum of Art (Nov 2016)

Sonya Lifschitz&Lisa Moore best pic by Mim Moore#6651

Sonya and Lisa hanging out in Melbourne (Dec 2017)

20161201_204522Sonya and Lisa, Peristyle, Toledo Museum

SonyaLifschitz&LisaMoore pic by Tim Moore#6541

Sonya and Lisa in Melbourne (Dec 2017)


Performing at DIA, the Detroit Institute of the Arts – in the Diego Rivera Court


Sonya and Lisa post-concert relief at DIA

Sonya Lifschitz

Sonya Lifschitz

Lisa Moore

Lisa Moore


J.S. Bach

In 2018 Sonya Lifschitz and Lisa Moore perform programs together on two pianos – music by John Adams, J.S. Bach, and Martin Bresnick.

Handwork – The Goldberg Variations

Program: Handwork-The Goldberg Variations
Hallelujah Junction (1996) by John Adams (b.1947)
Handwork (2014) by Martin Bresnick (b.1946)
Goldberg Variations BWV 988 (1741) by J.S. Bach (1685-1750) arr. S. Emmerson
(60 mins w/out intermission, 75 w/intermission)

Virtuosi maverick Australian pianists join forces to present HandworkThe Goldberg Variations a powerhouse journey on two grand pianos with masterful music by J.S. Bach, Martin Bresnick and John Adams. Hear the infamous Bach Goldberg Variations afresh, with it’s intricate ingenuity in luminous clarity as this duo team builds a kaleidoscopic tapestry of color, rhythm and touch. Paired with bold, new American music – Martin Bresnick’s mysteriously evocative Handwork and John Adams’ jazz-infused Hallelujah Junction – Sonya and Lisa portray an electrifying and generous musical dialogue with explosive, sonic resonance.

2018 Upcoming Australian tour: Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne
May 23 Larry Sitsky Room 7pm Australian National University, School of Music, Canberra
May 24 Playhouse Theatre 1pm Western Sydney Uni, Penrith campus, Sydney https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/
June 4 Twilight Series, 6.30pm Queensland Performing Arts Center, Southbank, Brisbane https://www.qpac.com.au
June 8 Recital Hall West 6.30 Sydney Conservatorium, cnr Macquarie St and Bridge Rd Sydney http://music.sydney.edu.au/event-listings
June 17 Elder Hall 2.30pm Adelaide presented by Accompanists Guild South Australia and Recitals Australia http://accompanist.org.au/
June 19 Elizabeth Murdoch Hall 6.30pm Melbourne Recital Center, Sturt St and Southbank Blvd Melbourne

Youtube live performance links with Sonya Lifschitz and Lisa Moore pianos
Bach Goldberg Variations
Aria and Variation 1 live from Toledo, Ohio, Peristyle Theatre, Dec 2016

Variation 23 (encore) live from Detroit Institute of the Arts, Diego Rivera Court, Dec 2016

Infinite VariationsGoldberg (Re)Imagined

Program: The Bach Goldberg Variations BWV 988 45′

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (arr: Stephen Emmerson)
The virtuosi Ukrainian-Australian-American musical mavericks – pianists Sonya Lifschitz and Lisa Moore – join forces for their sensational duo Sonya and Lisa, as they re-imagine and present the iconic masterpiece – the J.S. Bach Goldberg Variations BMW 988. Exploring the contrapuntal ingenuity and the transcendent spiritual beauty of the original, this two-piano arrangement (by the revered Australian pianist Stephen Emmerson) delivers a beguiling and electrifying musical dialogue.

Weaving an intricate, kaleidoscopic tapestry of colors, textures, articulations and dynamics, Sonya and Lisa conjure up a sense of awe and beauty as the variations unfold. Infinite Variations affirms that the Goldberg maintains its timeless relevance and meaning through the continuously evolving performance traditions. In this new and imaginative version, Sonya and Lisa re-create the piece afresh, allowing it to speak in ever more powerful and compelling ways to contemporary audiences.

Duo Solo – music by Bach, Glass, and Crumb

Program: The Goldberg Variations duo piano arrangement paired with solo music by Philip Glass and George Crumb
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (arr: Stephen Emmerson)
George Crumb (b.1929): selections from Makrokosmos Vol. 1 Twelve Fantasy-Pieces after the Zodiac and Philip Glass (b.1937): selections from The Etudes

The Australian pianists Sonya Lifschitz and Lisa Moore combine forces to re-create and re-imagine the Bach Goldberg Variations. In this new context the variations are shared across two pianos and juxtaposed with solo music by two American composers – Philip Glass and George Crumb. Exploring the contrapuntal ingenuity and the transcendent beauty of the Bach masterpiece, this new duo arrangement (by the Australian pianist Stephen Emmerson) delivers a unique take on the original – a beguiling and electrifying musical dialogue of voices and textures. Interwoven with selections from the timbral genius of George Crumb’s Makrokosmos Vol. 1 Twelve Fantasy-Pieces after the Zodiac (performed by Sonya) and the resonating glory of Philip Glass’s Piano Etudes (performed by Lisa), Sonya and Lisa weave an intricate, kaleidoscopic tapestry of piano colors, rhythms, textures, articulations and dynamics. Afresh, they represent the Goldberg Variations – allowing the original to transform and speak in powerful and compelling ways. As themes unfold and blend, Infinite Variations poetically establishes the timeless relevance of Bach, Glass and Crumb, alive in a new sonic environment of continuously evolving performance traditions.

Tech requirements: 2 grand pianos and two adjustable piano benches

Sonya Lifschitz
Praised by the New York Times and The Age for her “dynamic” and “powerful” performances, and by the Woodstock Times for her “miraculous keyboard technique and musicianship”, Ukrainian-born pianist Sonya Lifschitz is internationally recognised as one of Australia’s most innovative, fearless and fiercely creative musical voices. In 2015-2017 seasons, Sonya made a critically-acclaimed solo debut in one of New York’s most prestigious concert series, the BargeMusic, with other highlights including a piano duo tour of the USA with renowned pianist Lisa Moore; solo and chamber music performances at the Banff Centre (Canada), the Melbourne Recital Centre’s Salon: Solo, Local Heroes and Spotlight series, and the Melbourne (MIAF), Canberra (CIMF), Darwin, Port Fairy, Metropolis, St. John’s Feast of Music and Australian Piano Duo Festivals. Her recent performance of the world premiere “Stalin’s Piano” by Robert Davidson at the Canberra International Music Festival received a 4.5 stars review in the Limelight Magazine, and a recent performance of Larry Sitsky’s piano trio, Sandakan, commissioned by her ensemble Press, Play, received the Melbourne Recital Centre’s Contemporary Masters Award for the best performance of new work. Sonya’s performances are regularly broadcast by ABC Classic FM, ABC Radio National, and 3MBS and she has appeared on radio in interviews with Andrew Ford and Margaret Throsby.
Sonya is increasingly active as a music curator and director, pushing to expand the existing parameters of performance culture and concert experience in Australia. In 2015 she curated, directed, and performed in a critically-acclaimed multi-disciplinary project (Canzone) for the Melbourne Festival, working at the intersection of visual art, music, and animated projections. Last year, as a Fellow at the Australian National Academy of Music, Sonya directed and performed a large-scale multimedia project featuring all four books of George Crumb’s Makrokosmos, reflecting her commitment to innovative and creative concert presentation and community engagement. A fierce advocate for new music, Sonya has commissioned and premiered numerous large-scale works by composers such as Larry Sitsky, Kate Neal, Robert Davidson, Damian Barbeler, Steve Adams, and Anthony Lyons. A passionate collaborator, she has worked with some of Australia’s top performers, including Lisa Moore, Stephen Emmerson, Joe Chindamo, Miwako Abe, Caroline Henbest, Vanessa Tomlinson, Topology, the Kransky Sisters, Christine Johnston, and members of the Flinders Quartet, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony and Queensland Symphony Orchestras.
Sonya debuted with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at age 18, performing Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, broadcast on ABC Classic FM and SBS television. She has been a soloist with the Melbourne Symphony, Israel Symphony, John Hopkins Symphony, Western Australia Youth Symphony, Melbourne Symphonia, and Marroondah Symphony orchestras and has performed extensively in Australia, United States, Israel, Switzerland, Italy and England.
A Fulbright Scholar, Sonya studied under the legendary pianist-conductor Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory of Music (John Hopkins University, USA) and holds a PhD in performance from the University of Melbourne. Sonya is a Lecturer in Music (Performance) at University of New South Wales. www.sonyalifschitz.com