Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann will play the same piano at the Port Theatre on Nov. 1. (Photo courtesy Best Days Ever Photography)

Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann will play the same piano at the Port Theatre on Nov. 1. (Photo courtesy Best Days Ever Photography)

Piano duo perform on one piano in Nanaimo return to live performance

Marcel and Elizabeth Bergmann present first live, in-person concert since March

A pair of pianists from the Lower Mainland are coming to Nanaimo for their first live, in-person concert in more than half a year.

On Nov. 1, the Bergmann Piano Duo of Marcel and Elizabeth Bergmann present a two-person, one-piano concert at the Port Theatre.

Marcel said this has been their longest break from performance and Elizabeth said it will be an emotional and “overwhelming” return.

“We haven’t had a connection with a live audience in like seven months and when you’re a musician it’s like cutting off a part of yourself,” she said.

The Bergmanns will be performing classic musical repertoire featuring Beethoven, Bach and Grieg, among others. The pieces were all either written for “four hands” or arranged in that style by Marcel. Elizabeth said he’s had a lot of time to come up with new arrangements due to the COVID-19 break.

“I can’t say that there’s been really a time where you sit at home and you don’t know what to do,” he said. “I mean, that just didn’t happen at all.”

Marcel said the four-handed arrangements provide a fuller, more orchestral sound but sharing the same instrument with another musician is not without its challenges.

Elizabeth said there are space issues and she has to come up with creative fingering since she can’t use the pedals. Marcel said “negotiation” is necessary, but there are also benefits to playing in such close proximity.

“You feel more closely connected because you sit so closely together,” Marcel said. “So it’s more intimate.”

WHAT’S ON … The Bergmann Piano Duo performs at the Port Theatre on Nov. 1 at 2:30 p.m. In-theatre tickets sold out. Live-stream tickets $12 available here.



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