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Preface by Nicolas Namoradze
Moon, Refracted was composed in 2019 in advance of my first piano recital tour in Japan. It is a reflection on a well-known Japanese song, Kōjō No Tsuki (Moon over the Ruined Castle) by Rentarō Taki (1879-1903). Set in a theme-and-variation form, the work plainly presents Taki’s melody before my own, single variation. The sparse, meditative work was influenced by the special atmosphere of Taki’s song as well as elements of the “wabi-sabi” concept in Japanese aesthetics.
Pianist and composer Nicolas Namoradze, whose performances have been hailed by critics as “sparkling… sensitive and coloristic” (New York Times) and “simply gorgeous” (Wall Street Journal) and “astonishing” (International Piano Magazine), came to international attention upon winning the 2018 Honens International Piano Competition in Calgary, Canada—the largest piano prize in the world. A Gramophone “One to Watch” and BBC Music Magazine “Rising Star,” Namoradze was recently named among WQXR’s “20 for 20: Artists to Watch,” a list that “includes long-time heroes, established favorites and newcomers set for stardom who are redefining what classical music can be.”
His activities as the Honens Prize Laureate include recitals at Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Gardner Museum (Boston), 92nd Street Y (New York), Toppan Hall (Tokyo), and deSingel (Antwerp); appearances at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Tanglewood, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Toronto Summer Music, Telavi Music Festival, Miami International Piano Festival, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival; recording releases on the Honens, Hyperion, Steinway and Edition Klavier-Festival Ruhr labels; and performances with the London Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony, and Ottawa National Arts Centre orchestras, among others.
Highlights of his work as a composer include commissions and performances by leading artists and ensembles including Ken-David Masur, Tessa Lark, Metropolis Ensemble and the Momenta, Verona and Barkada Quartets, at festivals such as the Chelsea Music Festival, Honens Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Klavier-Festival Ruhr, among others. He has also composed and produced a number of film soundtracks, including Walking Painting by Fabienne Verdier, Nuit d’opéra à Aix, a short film made in association with the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and Jared Houseman’s For Ryan.
After completing his undergraduate studies in Budapest, Vienna, and Florence, Namoradze moved to New York for his master’s at The Juilliard School and his doctoral studies at the CUNY Graduate Center. His teachers have included Emanuel Ax, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Zoltán Kocsis, Matti Raekallio, and Elisso Virsaladze for piano, and John Corigliano for composition.