Published on July 13th, 2023 | by Andrew Bistak

Gershwin and Me with Simon Tedeschi

International conductor and pianist Vladimir Fanshil is bringing his acclaimed Live at Yours program to Melbourne for the second concert in an ongoing series of world class musicians performing in intimate yet majestic settings.

On Tuesday 1 August, virtuosic pianist and Gershwin aficionado Simon Tedeschi will perform timeless masterpieces of George Gershwin in the stunning Toorak synagogue, which will be opened to the public for this exclusive event.

With three celebrated albums of Gershwin’s music and countless acclaimed performances of Rhapsody in Blue under his fingers, Tedeschi will present a suite of favourites including RhapsodySummertimeI Got Rhythm and more. The program will also feature works from composers within Gershwin’s world including RachmaninovChopin and Debussy. Hailed as one of the most exciting voices in jazz today, trumpeter Matt Jodrel will make a guest appearance.

As he explains, Tedeschi’s affinity with Gershwin is multifaceted.

“I performed Gershwin with Larry Adler, who performed with Gershwin himself at a party. I was Larry’s last pianist – there were about seven decades between us. Rhapsody in Blue also connects me to another wonderful musician, the conductor, impresario, arranger and survivor Tommy Tycho, with whom I first performed Rhapsody in Blue.”

He describes Gershwin’s music as a clashing of ideals, a syzygy of styles, from Grieg, Rachmaninoff, Klezmer and the Viennese School to the blues, jazz and Latin music.

“Gershwin is the exemplar of an American composer, and I can’t wait to come to Melbourne to share with audiences a musical icon who has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’m particularly looking forward to experiencing the acoustics of the Toorak Synagogue and the beautiful space that will certainly enhance the experience.”

An innovative Australian conductor, pianist and concert curator, Fanshil says he built the Gershwin and Me experience around the location, purposefully selecting a Jewish musician, composer and venue.

“When we launched the series in Melbourne this May, cellist Umberto Clerici said the Toorak Synagogue has possibly the best acoustic he’d heard anywhere in Australia. It was a unique and wonderful experience under the incredible Byzantine dome.”

“We have now secured exclusive access to share our musical experiences at the Synagogue. It will be a rare treat to hear the virtuosic Simon Tedeschi up close and personal in an evening dedicated to Gershwin.”

The Gershwin and Me concert is the second in this 2023 series. The next Live at Yours concert at the Synagogue, on 9 November, will feature Ukrainian pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk. The 2024 series will be released at the event with a line-up of Australia’s finest artists scheduled to appear at the Toorak Synagogue.

Fanshil and his wife, acclaimed opera singer Eleanor Lyons, created Live at Yours as a response to pandemic restrictions in 2020/21. Australia’s fastest growing live music company, Live at Yours has expanded from salon lounge performances in private homes into a series of sold-out musical experiences in Sydney’s The Great Synagogue and a diverse range of musical experiences in regional NSW and smaller intimate venues across Sydney not normally marked for live performances.

Gershwin & Me – Simon Tedeschi, Piano
Tuesday 1 August, 7.00pm
Venue: Toorak Synagogue, Cnr Toorak & St Kilda Roads, South Yarra
Tickets: from $38

About the Author

When he's not trying to save the world, Andrew enjoys travel (although loathes turbulence), going to the movies, reading and being a dad to his two dogs (and now twins) with his wife.

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