Written by Joe Scotchie Thursday, 29 August 2013 00:00
Roslyn native Daniela Liebman has enchanted audiences worldwide with her interpretations of classical piano pieces. Currently a resident of Guadalajara, Mexico, Daniela, who is only 11 years old, will bring her talents back to New York, to Carnegie Hall on Sunday, Oct. 27.
Daniela will perform various pieces, including the Shostakovich Piano Concerto #2, Brahms’ Violin Concerto, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture and Dvorak’s Carnival Overture.
The concert represents a Roslyn conquest of Carnegie Hall. Daniela will be joined by violinist Jourdan Urbach, another Roslyn native, whose achievements in both music and philanthropy are well-known to readers of The Roslyn News. Daniela will be the featured soloist on the Shostakovich piece, while Urbach will play violin for the Brahms concerto. Both will be playing with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony.
“I am extremely proud of this orchestra,” Park Avenue Chamber Symphony’s music director, David Bernard, told Classical World. “We are thrilled to help the brilliant and talented Daniela Liebman make her Carnegie Hall debut and bring our audiences this stellar collection of soloists during our 2013-2014 season.”
Daniela has performed all over the world, including countries as different as Spain, Germany and Kyrgyzstan. The masters that she has interpreted include Liszt, Mozart, Bach,
Beethoven and Rachmaninov. Over the years, she has won piano competitions in Monterey, Mexico; Madrid, Spain; San Jose, CA, where she won the Gold Medal in the Russian International piano competition; and Berlin, where she took first place in the Lang Lang Telefonica Competition.
Daniela recently sat down with Classical World magazine to discuss her upcoming concert and how her amazing career has progressed so far.
“I think it’s a great honor to be playing there at such a young age and I’m looking forward to it very much,” she said of the Oct. 27 concert. “When I toured Carnegie Hall earlier this year, I saw the spot on the stage where Horowitz liked the piano legs positioned, and it hit me that I can play in the same exact same spot as one of my idols.”
Daniela elaborated on her rapid rise in the world of classical music.
“I always liked the piano,” she said. “My grandma used to put me on the edge, where I’d dangle my feet over the keys while she played. Still I never asked for one, my dad just went out and bought it. I remember him telling me that if we didn’t get serious when I was five, it would be too late to ever be great someday. So that was it. Every day we sat together for an hour and practiced. No matter what happened around me or what mood I was in, we practiced. A couple of years later I started studying with my current teacher, Dr. Anatoly Zatin, at the Universitario Belles Artes, in Colima, Mexico, and everything just clicked. It was like a light bulb suddenly went on and I started to play really difficult pieces well. Of course I still needed to work hard to perfect everything, but I was playing Chopin etudes and a Mozart sonata in competitions by the time I was eight.”
Asked about her most memorable performances, Daniela recalled her debut: “In Kyrgyzstan, just as I was about to go on stage, the concert was suddenly canceled with the audience sitting in their seats,” she continued. “It turns out the orchestra wasn’t paid on time and they refused to play. But on the next day, a portion of the musicians, mostly those who flew in from Moscow, decided to go ahead and perform the concert anyway.” They formed a fantastic chamber orchestra and the concert was a big success.
Daniela’s love for music shines through when she talks about performing specific works.
“Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto is both fun to play and thoroughly enjoyable to the audience,” she said. “The first movement begins with an amusing, snappy introduction by the winds. To me it sounds like a parade of ducks quacking, walking in single file around a pond, and when I come in and take the lead, I feel like I’m talking to the ducks. When the strings enter in the second movement, I have a feeling like I’m above the clouds sitting at a piano, and then I make everyone feel love when I come in with the first theme, which is one of the most gorgeous melodies ever created.”
Daniela hails from a long line of musicians. Her grandmother Joyce Ann was a concert pianist, while her father, Robert, is an accomplished violinist.
The Liebman family has lived in Roslyn for over 50 years. Daniela’s grandfather, Dr. Arthur Liebman, taught English at Roslyn High School. Her grandmother, Joyce Ann, has appeared throughout New York State as a featured pianist and music director of the Connoisseur Chamber Ensemble. Daniela’s father, Robert, has performed with the Long Island Youth Orchestra as a concert master in Europe, South America, India, Sri Lanka and Israel.
On YouTube, viewers can hear and see Daniela performing Liszt, Mozart, Chopin, Slonimsky, Greig and other masters in solo performances. The international press has also taken notice, and she is profiled in glowing terms wherever she plays. Just recently, Daniela was the subject of a CNN feature. The upcoming concert at Carnegie Hall promises to be another success story in Daniela’s budding career.
The Oct. 27 concert will begin at 2 p.m. For more information go to: http://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2013/10/27/0200/PM/Park-Avenue-Chamber-Symphony/