Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann were brought together through their love for the piano. After two decades, they are still inspiring audiences together. The married couple, who also performs as a piano duo, will be touring the South Okanagan in Canada this approaching weekend.
“The playing is the fun part, it’s the travel and wondering how the weather is going to be that is the hard part,” stated Elizabeth. Perhaps, one of the toughest challenges that they face is travelling around with a gold-leaf Fazioli grand piano. This hand-crafted piano is made in Sacile, Italy which produces only a limited one to two hundred of the instruments each year.
“The Fazioli is one of the top instruments I have played on absolutely. We were just talking about this while we have been touring and it is holding its tuning all the way, it’s quite unbelievable,” explained Elizabeth. The piano, along with a Grotrian, is shifted from venue to venue with as much leeway time as possible to enable the instruments to acclimatize. It is important that they get into the next venue as soon as possible because the temperature fluctuation is really what puts the pianos out of tune. The instruments are made of wood so they are living, moving creatures. We come in as close to the concert as possible to tweak the tuning, warm up, then boom it’s showtime,” added Elizabeth.
While they are in the South Okanagan, the Bergmann Duo will dive into a varied repertoire consisting of Mozart, Brahms, Bernstein, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea and Astor Piazzolla. “We have taken a page out of 20th century musical history. In the 50s and 60s the concert landmark was full of duo-piano teams on tour with their own pianos in tow. Now the Bergmanns have re-established an old tradition that will be as successful today as it was in the past century,” said impresario George Zukerman.
The couple have been performing in both recitals as well as with orchestras across North American and Europe. So far, they already have a number of recordings to their credit as well as being frequent featured artists on CBC. Marcel is an accomplished composer himself and arranged most of the music. “The whole second half to the show, with the exception of one piece, was all original arrangements by Marcel. With all the textures and all the stuff that is going on they all work so well with two pianos. Because he is a composer it gives us so much versatility,” mentioned Elizabeth. For the full story, you can read it here.