The piano is not usually part of the orchestra, with a few notable exceptions from famous symphonic literature. However, with the maturing of the piano in the 19th century, it has become the premier solo instrument, able to be paired with a large orchestra and match it for power and projection. This presentation will examine the history of the piano, particularly as a solo instrument with orchestra, beginning with its first steps of independence from its role as a mere supporter of other orchestral instruments to the magnificent “symphonic” concertos from the late 19th and 20th centuries.
Thomas Shoebotham has taught and performed on the cello in the Bay Area for over 20 years. Maestro Shoebotham plays a 2004 Anthony Lane cello, which won a silver medal for tone at the Violin Society of America competition in Portland. Also a noted conductor, he has directed performances for a number of groups, including Opera San Jose, Berkeley Opera, Peninsula Symphony, West Bay Opera, Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, Albuquerque Philharmonic, and Palo Alto Philharmonic.