The two classical pianists embraced the keyboards of the Steinway grands last Saturday night at the Amador Theater with a finely tuned fervor that brought out the nuances of the well-chosen program.
Pleasanton's own Tamriko Siprashvili has found an excellent fellow artist in Temirzhan Yerzhanov, a Los Gatos resident, to perform with her on two pianos, which were donated by Steinway & Sons in Walnut Creek for the weekend's performance to benefit arts in the Pleasanton schools.
The two internationally acclaimed musicians shone in "A Night to Remember," presented by the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council as Siprashvili returned to the Pleasanton stage after six years.
"I wanted to know what it would be like to perform again -- and here I am," she told the appreciative audience before sitting down to play. She also noted, "The life of a musician is grueling."
And she told of their individual musical and life journeys, she growing up in Tbilisi, Georgia, and Yerzhanov in Kazakhstan.
"We both left our countries and came to Moscow, and we both chose the same teacher," Siprashvili said.
They also both came to love the works of composer Robert Schumann (1810-56), and they opened their concert with his Six Etudes in canonic form Op. 56, transcribed for two pianos by Debussy.
The program continued with Ravel's "La Valse," Rachmaninoff's Suite No. 2, Op. 17, Saint-Saens' "Dance Macabre," and the premier of La Fantaisie 180 for two pianos, a stirring piece by Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu, who died in 1959.
The romantic parts of the compositions rolled poignantly off the fingertips of the pianists, alternating with dynamic passages that saw both of them lifting off their seats. The audience responded with equal enthusiasm.
"We hope they will come back to perform for us again next year," said Charlotte Severin, co-chair of the concert committee.
Pleasanton schools superintendent Parvin Ahmadi was also at the concert to thank the pianists for their concert to benefit the school district.
"I have long felt the profound importance of Arts in the Schools as a necessary component of academic success in all of our classes," she said.
Siprashvili is the owner of Inspire Academy of Music and Arts in Pleasanton, and many young people came out to hear her and Yerzhanov perform. Surely they were inspired, as was everyone in attendance.