Hailing Sara Daneshpour’s 2007 performance with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Post wrote, “she created a transfixing poetry. And she found delightful details in passagework and incidents that other pianists treat as routine.” The Baltimore Sun noted that Daneshpour “delivered a powerhouse account of Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 producing enough tone for two pianists in the process.” A graduate of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Leon Fleisher, Daneshpour has captured the attention of musicians and music lovers in her native Washington, D.C., as well as Russia, Estonia, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, Turkey, and Japan. In 2007, she garnered second prize at the William Kapell International Piano Competition in Maryland. Daneshpour has performed at such noted venues as the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.; Carnegie Hall, New York; and the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. In addition, Daneshpour has been featured nationwide on more than one hundred public radio stations, including the venerable WGBH in Boston.
In anticipation of the upcoming Shenson Chamber Music Concert on April 6, NMWA intern Breezy Deither interviewed Sara Daneshpour about how she became the artist she is today.
Breezy: When did you first begin to play the piano? Do you still get nervous before a concert?
Sara: I began to play the piano at five. I get excited before a concert, and try not to get nervous by focusing on the music.
Breezy: What is your favorite piece you will play for the Shenson Chamber Music Concert Series at NMWA and why?
Sara: I really enjoy performing the Corelli Variations of Rachmaninoff because it’s a piece that has been with me and part of my repertoire for some time. I’ve grown up with that piece.
Breezy: Who encouraged you to pursue a career in piano? Did you always want to be a musician and why?
Sara: I feel music and art in general is something that one has to decide for themselves if one would like to pursue. Becoming a musician was an organic process. I started the piano at an early stage and showed some potential and that just kept growing. Thankfully, I had wonderful people around me that steered me in the right direction and inspired me to pursue this career. My family and teacher have been extremely supportive.
Breezy: Do you ever compose your own music?
Sara: I like improvising, however I don’t compose music.
Breezy: Is there a message you are trying to convey through music to the audience?
Sara: When I perform I like to transport the listener to a place other than where they are at that moment. In regards to a message that you ask of, I don’t know if there is a particular message I have to convey when performing, since different pieces have different emotions and ideas to convey, but generally I’d like to express and communicate honesty and sincerity to the music.
Breezy: How do you go about choosing your program and the pieces you will play?
Sara: I try to find a balance when creating a program and aim to incorporate a wide variety of styles and emotions, while still creating a cohesive program
Breezy: What has been the most significant artistic achievement for you personally?
Sara: Honestly, I try to make each of my performances an artistic achievement. For me it’s all about the music and how sincerely I can convey it, so I don’t consider any of the large or small venues I’ve played as “artistic achievements”.
Check out Sara’s abilities for yourself! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBVnoDZsZHI
Sara Daneshpour’s Program at NMWA:
Sonata no. 7 in D major, op.10 no. 3 Beethoven
Largo e mesto
Variations on the name ABEGG, Op.1 Schumann
Concert Paraphrase of Rigoletto Liszt
Soiree dans Grenade
Jardins sous la pluie
Variations on a theme of Corelli, Op.42 Rachmaninoff
Toccata, Op.11 Prokofiev
Tickets are $15 General; $10 Members, Seniors, Students. Reservations required: please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-783-7370.