College of Charleston SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

ZOFO Piano Duo to Share Dazzling Four-Hand Choreography on Stage

Since joining forces as a professional duo in 2009, internationally acclaimed solo pianists Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi — ZOFO— have electrified audiences from Carnegie Hall to Tokyo with their dazzling artistry and outside-the-box thematic programming for one-piano-four-hands. “ZOFO’s feisty performances surge with athletic precision, always mindful of how much joy there is in music” (The Washington Post). ZOFO believes that the piano duet is the most intimate form of chamber music, with two musicians playing individual parts on one instrument in a complex, often beautiful choreography of four hands. ZOFO has earned praise from composers and critics alike and will perform the final concert of the 30th anniversary season of the International Piano Series at the College of Charleston School of the Arts. The program will include an impressive body of repertoire featuring works by Stravinsky, Debussy and Nakagoshi, himself.

ZOFO, which is shorthand for 20-finger orchestra (ZO=20 and FO=finger orchestra), made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2010, the same year it won the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition. ZOFO was the only piano duo to be elevated to the final round in the 2011 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition. The duo has performed at a wide variety of concert venues across North America, Europe, Australia, and Japan, including intimate, informal spaces; colleges and universities; and major concert venues such as the Tokyo Opera Recital Hall, the Sydney City Recital Hall, and Tonhalle Zurich. ZOFO has participated at numerous festivals such as Murten Classics in Switzerland, the Sun Valley Music Festival in Idaho, the Music on the Heights International Chamber Music Festival in Poland, and the Kusatsu Summer International Academy and Festival in Japan.

ZOFO’s concert programs often incorporate a unifying theme that connects the works both musically and historically. Several of these thematic programs have been released worldwide as critically acclaimed commercial CDs under their multi-disc recording contract with Grammy Award-winning label Sono Luminus Records. The duo’s 2013 debut CD Mind Meld was nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance and Producer of the Year.

Committed to contemporary music, ZOFO duet has commissioned more than thirty works by noted composers including Pulitzer Prize-winner William Bolcom, Gabriela Lena Frank, Terry Riley, Akira Nishimura, Carl Vine, Pawel Mykietyn, Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Pablo Ortiz, and many others. For their cutting-edge project ZOFOMOMA – New Pictures at an Exhibition, ZOFO commissioned new works from 15 top composers around the globe, and requested each to select a painting representative of his or her culture as a springboard to the creative process. With this project, ZOFO was invited to a nine-concert Australia tour presented by Musica Viva in spring 2019. ZOFO’s newest projects are two commissions of one-piano four-hand concertos by Australian composer Carl Vine and Argentinian-American composer Pablo Ortiz.

ZOFO’s innovative and inspired performances have garnered national media attention, and ZOFO has been featured on American Public Media’s Performance Today, WFMT Chicago’s Impromptu, KING-FM’s Second Inversion, Australia’s ABC Radio National’s The Art Show, among many others.

The concert will take place on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 7:30 p.m., in the Emmett Robinson Theatre/Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. General admission is $20 and FREE for College of Charleston students and employees. Tickets may be purchased ONLINE, at the door, by email, or by calling (843) 953-6315.