Theater & Arts

Arts picks: Nakamatsu returns to Keyboard Concerts

Jon Nakamatsu performs April 3 at Fresno State’s Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts series.
Jon Nakamatsu performs April 3 at Fresno State’s Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts series. Special to The Bee

Jon Nakamatsu is no stranger to Fresno. The acclaimed pianist returns to the Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts series a fourth time this weekend. He’s my top arts pick for the week.

Return visit

▪  The event: Nakamatsu, who won the gold medal in 1997 at the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, will perform the Mozart Sonata in B-flat Major, Schubert’s Four Impromptus and the Brahms Sonata in F Minor. The Brahms sonata, almost 40 minutes in length, is a monumental and challenging work.

▪  The draw: With the Van Cliburn competition held every four years, there aren’t many gold medalists running around. Nakamatsu has built a strong career after his competition win, with the New York Times noting his “calm assurance that comes of having both a solid technique and a gentle, introspective, interpretive spirit.” Andreas Werz, artistic director of Keyboard Concerts at Fresno State, adds: “He can be a powerhouse in terms of technique, but at the same time he’s a noble and honest advocate of any work that he interprets.”

▪  Details: 3 p.m. Sunday, April 3, Fresno State Concert Hall., 559-278-2337. $25, $18 seniors, $5 students.

Spring art fever

▪  The event: A Sense of Place Fine Art Gallery hosts a reception for the exhibition “A Celebration of Spring,” which features visions of the season by the gallery’s artists.

▪  The draw: Two new names join the gallery’s lineup of artists with this exhibition, though they certainly aren’t new to the local art community. Corky Normart and Gail Perry-Henricksen are welcomed with works in the show. Normart’s “Spring Storm” is an example of the fine line he walks between abstract and representational art, with just enough form present (outlines of fields, patches of roadway, trees, city buildings) to evoke a sense of the color and breadth of the central San Joaquin Valley.

▪  Details: Reception is 4-7 p.m. Friday, April 1, A Sense of Place Fine Art Gallery, 2003 N. Van Ness Ave., 559-392-6775.