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Keys to Excellence: “Fantasies, Fairytales & Nightmares” with Bulgarian Pianist

March 11, 2016
Ani Gogova

Ani Gogova

Bulgarian pianist Ani Gogova will present the next concert in Drake University’s Keys to Excellence Piano Series. The concert is free and open to the public and begins at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 28 in Sheslow Auditorium, 2507 University Ave.

Ani Gogova’s dazzling artistic presence, masterful poetic expression, ravishing colors, and virtuoso technique beyond reproach have been captivating audiences around the world for almost two decades.

The concert features the following:

Robert Schumann Phantasiestücke / Fantasy Pieces, Op. 12
Des Abends / In the Evening
     V: In der Nacht / At Night

Nikolai Medtner  Two Fairytales
     Cantabile, tranquillo, Op. 26 No. 2
Narrante a piacere, Op. 26 No. 3

Dmitry Shostakovich Three Fantastic Dances, Op. 5.
I. March

     II. Waltz
     III. Polka

Ludwig van Beethoven Sonata quasi una Fantasia, Op. 27 No. 2 “Moonlight”

     I. Adagio sostenuto
     II. Allegretto
     III. Presto agitato

György Ligeti Musica Ricercata
     I. Sostenuto
     II. Mesto, rigido e ceremonial
     III. Allegro con spirito
     IV. Tempo di Valse
     V. Lamentoso

Johannes Brahms Fantasies, Op. 116
     I. Capriccio in D minor
     II. Intermezzo in A minor
     III. Capriccio in G minor

Sergei Prokofiev Suggestion Diabolique, Op. 4 No. 4

Gogova's career started early in her native Bulgaria after winning top prices in several national and international competitions for young pianists. Since then Gogova has appeared in solo recitals, at festivals and in concerts with orchestras in Bulgaria, Italy, Serbia, England, Slovenia, Romania, Portugal, Macedonia, France, Canada, and throughout the US. Her performances have been heard on NPR, WBEZ, TED Talks, Bulgarian National Radio, FM Classic Radio, Interlochen Public Radio, and WFMT Chicago and have been selected as Critics’ Pick by Time Out Chicago magazine and the Chicago Tribune. Acclaimed for her innovative approach to classical music, Ani Gogova appears in over 40 performances each season. Her cutting-edge collaborations with artists of other media such as photography, film, live animation, poetry, fashion, and dance create fresh and memorable classical experiences.

Her latest album titled “Fantasies, Fairytales, and Nightmares” was released in October 2014 on Blue Griffin Recording label, gathering critical acclaim for her playing being “quite hypnotic," “eliciting fine nuances," “project[ing] a special magic“ and for its “incisive accuracy” “as if she were Martha Argerich on speed.” (Audiophile Audition)

Gogova holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has been living in Chicago since 2003, when she was appointed at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, becoming the youngest professor at the time to join the world-renowned faculty of the Music Conservatory. In addition, she taught young pianists from all over the world at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan for five years and in the summer of 2013 joined the faculty of the Zodiac Music Academy and Festival in Valdeblore, France.

The Keys to Excellence concert series was created to raise awareness of Drake's fundraising efforts for the purchase of 70 brand new Yamaha pianos for the music department. It brings internationally acclaimed artists to perform on the Yamaha CFX concert grand at Drake University.

The series is sponsored by Yamaha, West Music, Civic Music Association, and Drake University. For more information, contact Nicholas Roth at 515-321-5947 or


OCTOBER 26: Francine Kay – Princeton University
NOVEMBER. 30: Nicholas Roth – Drake University
FEBRUARY 8: Nicholas Phillips – University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
MARCH 28: Ani Gogova
APRIL 18: Daniel Shapiro – Cleveland Institute of Music.

All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. in Sheslow Auditorium and are free and open to the public.