For much of the early 1700s, Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti composed hundreds of intricate, genre-bending harpsichord sonatas influenced by Spanish and Portuguese folk music. For much of the 20th century, American composer John Cage dazzled audiences with experimental compositions influenced by Indian and Chinese musical theory. In this Schubert Club Mix concert at St. Paul’s James J. Hill Center (adjacent to the St. Paul Central Library), piano virtuoso David Greilsammer will perform sonatas by both composers, bridging the 200-year gap between the artists by highlighting the similarities between their passionate, provocative and colorful works. 


Note from David Greilsammer about the Program:
Music from a different planet. This is the feeling that has always taken over me when listening to the Sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti and John Cage. Music from an invisible, distant, and mysterious world. The works of these composers do not resemble in any way those of their contemporaries: is it, perhaps, because the two men were not composers, but in fact, inventors? Inventors of sounds, magicians of rhythm, creators of new languages, that had never been heard before. As true visionaries, ahead of their time, they treated the Sonata not as a rigid and extensive form, but rather as a miraculous space designed for conception and experimentation. More than two hundred years separate the two composers, but their Sonatas seem so much alike: short, provocative, passionate, full of wild colours, and bursting with sensual rhythms. Light years away from the traditional Sonata that ruled during the two centuries that went by between Scarlatti and Cage, the two artists treated this form as a free, agile and dazzling entity: like an Unidentified Flying Object, passing in the sky, brief, remote and solitary. Searching in their feverish imagination, Scarlatti and Cage conceived these pieces to be the messengers of a yet unknown world. Embracing the future and its freedoms, the Sonatas seem to be staring at us from their far, distant planet.  — David Greilsammer

David Greilsammer

David GreilsammerKnown for his fascinating and eclectic programs, conductor and pianist David Greilsammer is recognized as one of today’s most imaginative and audacious artists. Last December, The New York Times selected his album “Mozart In-Between” (Sony Classical) as one of the best recordings of the year. The American newspaper had already awarded his previous album, “Baroque Conversations” among the best albums of 2012, and his New York recital was selected as one of the most interesting musical events of the year.
Born in Jerusalem, David Greilsammer studied at The Juilliard School with Yoheved Kaplinsky, in addition to working with pianist Richard Goode. After making his New York Lincoln Center debut, he went on to becoming “Young Musician of the Year” at the French Music Awards.
Known as a unique interpreter of both baroque and contemporary music, David Greilsammer is also celebrated for his Mozart performances. In 2008, he performed in Paris all of Mozart’s piano Sonatas in a one-day “marathon” and in recent years, he has recorded various albums devoted to the composer. Last season, he played and conducted the complete cycle of Mozart’s twenty-seven piano concertos in Geneva.
Since 2013, David Greilsammer is Music and Artistic Director of the Geneva Camerata (GECA). With this innovative orchestra, he gives more than thirty concerts this season, including performances in Berlin, Paris and London, and Gstaad. David Greilsammer also presents with GECA singular collaborations with dancers, painters, video artists, actors, and jazz musicians. David Greilsammer has recently conducted the ensemble in programs featuring soloists such as Steven Isserlis, Emmanuel Pahud, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Andreas Scholl, and Daniel Hope.


Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 7:30 pm
James J. Hill Center (adjacent to the St. Paul Central Library on Rice Park)
80 W 4th St, St Paul, MN

Concert length is estimated to be 80 minutes with no intermission.

Drinks will be available for purchase. 


$30 General Admission

$12 Student Rush (with valid I.D.)


Scarlatti & Cage Sonatas for Piano & Prepared Piano

Scarlatti: Sonata in D minor K. 213
Cage: Sonata no. 14
Scarlatti: Sonata in D Minor K.141
Cage: Sonata no. 13
Scarlatti: Sonata in E Major K.381
Cage: Sonata no. 12
Scarlatti: Sonata in B Minor K. 87
Cage: Sonata no.1
Scarlatti: Sonata in F minor K. 466
Cage: Sonata no. 16
Scarlatti: Sonata in E major K. 531
Cage: Sonata no.11
Scarlatti: Sonata in B Minor K. 27
Cage: Sonata no. 5
Scarlatti: Sonata in D Major K.492




An astonishing achievement, a triumph of innovative programming and brilliantly probing execution…There's no question that he's an artist of major importance.

The San Francisco Chronicle

Mr. Greilsammer is a standout musician who has it in him to challenge, inform and delight audiences … the playing was exquisite.

The New York Times

He shines with a disarming spontaneity, admirable expressive depth, captivating contrasts and intimate moments of joy...

Rondo Magazine