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A special Christmas concert with classics, jazz, and popular holiday favorites.

Paul Bisaccia always wanted to do a Christmas concert but wondered what repertoire to choose. As you can see by the title, he chose to play both jazz and classical styles in a concert of both the familiar and the seldom heard. The concert runs the gamut from classics and pop standards to jazz and even boogie-woogie. Many of the classics here are seldom played on the piano, such as Tchaikovsky’s ever-popular Nutcracker Suite.

Franz Liszt’s impressive arrangement of O Come All Ye Faithful was written as a Christmas gift for his granddaughter Daniela. It is almost never played.

There are two versions of Sleigh Ride. The famous one by Leroy Anderson is a jazzy uptempo New England sleigh ride. The other (again seldom performed) by Tchaikovsky is a magical romantic version of a sleigh ride in a Russian wonderland of snow and ice. Both Leroy Anderson and Tchaikovsky imitate the clip-clop of horses, but in the Tchaikovsky version the snow also begins to fall ever so delicately.

There are also two versions of Jingle Bells – one a short homage to Ella Fitzgerald and the other played as a pop standard. Of course everyone loves Mel Torme’s Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…) One can’t help but recall Torme’s velvety smooth voice and the lovely sophisticated jazz harmonies.

Paul Bisaccia made his European debut at age 17 and has performed concerts on four continents. He graduated summa cum laude and first in his class from the Hartt School. His vast repertoire includes the great piano classics including many works of Beethoven Liszt and Chopin. He was the first artist to record the complete solo piano music of Gershwin. His PBS television show, Gershwin by Bisaccia, has been seen by millions and was dubbed into Mandarin Chinese for broadcast in Asia. Michael Feinstein calls Paul Bisaccia and the Great American Piano, his second television show for PBS, “Imaginative, fun, well played and totally satisfying.” His third television show, Chopin by Bisaccia has been included in his newest DVD release Bisaccia on Television!

The Hartt School honored Paul with the Alumnus of the Year Award and the Governor of Connecticut proclaimed Paul Bisaccia Day in the State of Connecticut. PBS celebrated the day with a rebroadcast of his television shows. Bisaccia was also honored to perform Rhapsody in Blue in inauguration ceremonies for the new theater on the site of Aeolian Hall in New York, where Gershwin himself first performed his legendary masterpiece.

A prolific and versatile recording artist, Paul has recorded over 350 individual compositions covering a wide range of classical and American composers, all available on amazon.com. Many of his television and film clips can be seen on YouTube. He has been a recurring guest lecturer at Harvard University and his new book describing his life as a concert pianist, Piano Player – Memoir and Master Class, has just been published.

Please contact Amanda Reynolds for reservations at reynoldsa@essexmeadows.com or (860) 767-7201.


December 10, 2017
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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