Spring Salon: Adam Golka in Recital

Adam Golka, piano

Tuesday, April 23, 2024 | 5:30PM

Held at a private home

The dynamic pianist Adam Golka returns to Sedona for a recital of gorgeous solo piano works.

Adam Golka, piano

Polish-American pianist Adam Golka has been regularly on the concert stage since the age of sixteen, when he won first prize at the 2nd China Shanghai International Piano Competition. He has also received the Gilmore Young Artist Award and the Max I. Allen Classical Fellowship Award from the American Pianists Association.

Adam Golka begins 22/23 with recitals for Philip Lorenz International Keyboard Concerts and Mesa Arts Center, performing a program that bridges two long-term repertoire interests; Beethoven Sonatas, which he has explored and performed through his gripping 32@32 series (in which he paired each sonata with a short film that explored perspectives on the Sonatas, and an amalgam of distinguished guests, from astrophysicists to Alfred Brendel) and Brahms, whose complete piano works he will perform and record over the next few years.

In October of 2022, Golka performs Fazil Say’s “Silk Road” Concerto (1994) paired with de Falla’s Nights in the Garden of Spain with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. This season’s repertoire will also include Tchaikovsky 1 with Daniel Meyer and the Erie Philharmonic. The Winter/Spring of 2023 will see Golka perform Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in Spain, with the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, and tour a duo recital program with violinist Itamar Zorman with performances at Wigmore Hall and elsewhere.

As public events in the United States have re-opened, Adam was engaged by the Buffalo Philharmonic and Asheville Symphonies to film concertos by Bach, Mozart, Clara Schumann, Saint-Saëns, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, and Shostakovich for online release. He has also recorded a recital for the Chelsea Music Festival at High Line Nine, and he performed for live audiences at Chamber Music Sedona, as well as a series of recitals with cellist Jonathan Swensen, including the Morgan Library in NYC.

In 2020-2021, Adam Golka performed the eleven-hour cycle of Beethoven’s Sonatas five times in its entirety, three times for socially distanced audiences at the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park (Florida), once at the Archway Gallery in Houston, and also a live-streamed cycle at the Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue (NYC), with a growing live audience as the year-long series proceeded. Adam’s performances were complemented by 32 short films he created with Zac Nicholson, known as 32@32 (available on YouTube). First Hand Records in London has released his “Beethoven Piano Sonatas Vol. 1” in 2020, recorded at the Tippet Rise Art Center in Montana. “Adam Golka plays [Sonatas op. 10] with a certain brio, fiery, very free. After all, Beethoven dares in them fantasies, embellishments, cadenzas that the pianist seizes with a sense of improvisation, variations of mood, which never make you forget the simple beauty of his touch, the obviousness of his speech.” Artamag (France)

Adam Golka is deeply indebted to his two main teachers, José Feghali, with whom he studied at Texas Christian University, and Leon Fleisher, with whom he worked as part of the Artist Diploma program at the Peabody Conservatory. Since finishing his formal studies, Adam has continued to develop his artistry through private mentorship from his favorite artists: Alfred Brendel, Richard Goode, Murray Perahia, Ferenc Rados, and András Schiff, who invited Adam to give recitals at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr and Tonhalle Zürich for the “Sir András Schiff Selects” concert series.

As a concerto soloist, he has appeared with dozens of orchestras, including the BBC Scottish Symphony, NACO (Ottawa), Warsaw Philharmonic, Shanghai Philharmonic, as well as the San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, New Jersey, and San Diego symphonies. Adam has enjoyed collaborations with conductors such as Donald Runnicles, Pinchas Zukerman, Mark Wigglesworth, Joseph Swensen, and he has made countless concerto appearances with his brother, conductor Tomasz Golka. Adam gave his Carnegie Stern Auditorium début in 2010 with the New York Youth Symphony and his New York recital début at Alice Tully Hall, presented by the Musicians Emergency Fund.

Adam’s professional life began when he was awarded the first prize and audience prize at the 2nd China Shanghai International Piano Competition. In 2009, he won the Max I. Allen Fellowship from American Pianists Association. As a pedagogue, he acted as Artist-in-Residence for six school years at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Adam has recorded works by Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms for First Hand Records and he has premiered works composed for him by Richard Danielpour, Michael Brown, and Jarosław Gołębiowski.