Voyage à Paris explores the evolution of French piano music from the late nineteenth to the mid twentieth centuries, and includes works by Franck, Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc and Messiaen. This era was one of the richest in the history of both French music and art. Paris was the Mecca for this proliferation of musical and artistic creativity, and all of the composers featured in this recording made the City of Light their home and place of work. Chronologically, Voyage à Paris encompasses a musical journey from the Romantic writing of César Franck in the late 1800s to the Impressionistic works of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel shortly after the turn of the twentieth century. The musical voyage concludes in the mid 1900s with the influence of French cabaret and popular music in the compositions of Francis Poulenc, and the explosive joy expressed by Olivier Messiaen in his mystical contemporary writing.
Pianist Greg McCallum has performed across North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia in some of the world s most prestigious concert halls including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Preston Bradley Hall in Chicago, New York s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, St. Martin-in-the- Fields in London, and at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. A versatile musician, McCallum plays a wide range of repertoire from Bach to Brubeck, and has been praised by critics for his deeply felt, sensitive playing (Die Main Post, Germany) and consummate technical and artistic skill (The Spectator, Raleigh, NC). For his Carnegie Hall debut in March 2005, the New York Concert Review wrote that McCallum is a solid musician eager to make a connection with his audience...in the Scarlatti, he drew the line with deep and pure intention allied with the most expressive of rubati.
In September 2003,McCallum participated in the world premiere of Italian composer Daniele Lombardi s Threnodia per 21 Pianoforti in New York. This composition is dedicated to the memory of the 9/11 World Trade Center victims and was performed next to Ground Zero in the renovated Winter Garden. Although he primarily appears as a soloist, McCallum has worked as a collaborative artist with such distinguished musicians as flutists Wissam Boustany of London and Alexa Still of New Zealand, violinist Eric Pritchard of the Ciompi Quartet, and composer/pianist Frederic Rzewski. He has given premieres of new works by Sidney Boquiren, Julie Harris, Daniele Lombardi, and Gwyneth Walker. McCallum frequently improvises and composes in addition to performing. He also presents programs that combine the classical repertoire with other genres, including collaborations with folk singer Mike Seeger and novelist Lee Smith. North Carolina critics praised the diversity and scope of McCallum s work, and hailed him as one of our region s most innovative performers (The Spectator, Raleigh, NC).
McCallum received music degrees from the University of Maryland at College Park, the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg, Germany. He has won prizes and honors in piano competitions including the National Symphony Orchestra Young Soloist Competition, the Elizabeth R. Davis Memorial Piano Competition, and the Elizabeth Harper Vaughn Concerto Competition. Upon winning the Hofer Sinfoniker Concerto Competition, McCallum made his orchestral debut in Würzburg, Germany. He has also won awards in competitions for chamber music and accompanying, such as the Jessie Kneisal German Lied Competition at the Eastman School of Music. McCallum s teachers have included Grace Watson, Michael Zenge, Arne Torger, Nelita True, Maria Curcio Diamand, and Ronald and Carlyle Hodges.