The effervescent Mao Fujita enchanted judges, colleagues and audiences when, at age 20, he came to Moscow for the International Tchaikovsky Competition and walked away with the Silver Medal—a distinction which brought him further renown and numerous opportunities to perform worldwide, but which only confirmed the talent and vision on display in this recital the previous year from Paris’s Fondation Louis Vuitton!
Still a teenager here, Fujita tackles a monumental, wide-ranging program that would scare off a lesser pianist, beginning with a selection of pieces by Liszt that includes two of the most famous (and most virtuosic) Hungarian Rhapsodies! He then takes on two of the piano repertoire’s most emotionally and physically challenging sonatas: Scriabin’s deeply felt Sonata No. 2 (Sonata-Fantasy) and Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 7, the most famous of the three “War Sonatas,” boldly chromatic and thrilling throughout. His encores demonstrate his skill in Classical- and Romantic-era repertoire, with delightful and poignant works by Mozart, Chopin, and Schumann.