Frederic Rzewski, the truly formidable pianist and composer, died at the end of June. I have been feeling quite nostalgic since reading of his passing (see NY Time obituary linked here). I had the privilege of hearing him play in person on several occasions, the most memorable of which was an incredible performance of his best known piece, "The People United Will Never Be Defeated," a virtuosic set of 36 variations on a Chilean protest song. Mr. Rzewski presided at an upright piano brought in to the upstairs rooms at Wholey's Fish Market in the Strip - yes, that's right, at Wholey's!! Frederic was in Pittsburgh for other concerts, along with visiting relatives who live here. I will absolutely never forget that performance. I needed to get my hands on the score again, so I visited Carnegie Library and I have been happily sitting at the piano re-visiting this amazing work (full disclosure....it's REALLY difficult, and I can only say I have worked on just a few of the variations!) I will link a video performance of Frederic performing his piece a few years ago, but there are some splendid recordings: Ursula Oppens (he composed this piece for her in 1975), Marc-Andre Hamelin, Igor Levit, and Conrad Tao. Please give a listen and let me know what you think!