It’s piano music that might appeal not just to a grandmother, but to anyone.
Pianist Carter Johnson presents a program titled Music My Grandmother Loves this coming weekend in Nanaimo.
Johnson, who is from Vancouver Island and used to live in Nanaimo, will play a selection of pieces by Chopin on Saturday (July 22) at the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music.
Johnson said he’s had the idea to put together this sort of recital for some time. His grandmother has always been his “biggest cheerleader” with his piano playing, but for one reason or another, he’s rarely had occasion to perform her favourite pieces.
“Chopin is a lot of people’s favourite composer, but especially for people who don’t really like all of classical music so much, or don’t really listen to it…” Johnson said. “There’s just something really human about his music that’s really, really easy to connect with … There is a lot of sadness in it, but there’s also a lot of joy in it.”
This Saturday’s performance will offer a selection of Chopin’s styles, “from his electrifying scherzos to his most beloved waltzes and nocturnes,” notes an event press release.
Johnson has never played a solo recital in Nanaimo before. According to the release, he is establishing himself as one of Canada’s most exciting young pianists, winning awards nationally and abroad. He returned just a few weeks ago from the Shenzhen International Competition in China, in which he was Canada’s only competitor.
Music My Grandmother Loves starts Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the conservatory at 375 Selby St. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students, available at Fascinating Rhythm, or $25 at the door.
Johnson plays shows all this week leading up to the Nanaimo finale. He is on Quadra Island tonight (July 17) at Quadra Community Centre, then visits the Comox Valley on Tuesday to play at the Stan Hagen Theatre at North Island College; tickets at Blue Heron and Laughing Oyster Books. He plays at Campbell River’s Trinity Presbyterian Church on Wednesday; tickets at the Music Plant. He will play at Gabriola Island both Thursday and Friday at 2205 Shaw Rd.; tickets at North Road Sports. All performances start at 7:30 p.m.