An even better question is, how well will he be received? Zimerman does have his critics. None of them questions his tone or technique. But some find his approach to phrasing capricious and his manipulation of form willful. Others complain that his interpretations run the gamut from narcissistic to megalomaniacal. And there are those who call his tempos wayward, idiosyncratic, or just plain eccentric.
It could all be true. One of the things that make great pianists great is the degree of controversy their performances generate. Certainly, Zimerman is no cuddly-wuddly piano player. He challenges his critics and listeners to hear the music with fresh ears as he challenges himself to go more deeply into it, to the core of artistic creation, and then to incarnate creation in his playing.
Will he pull it off this time? Find out for yourself on Friday, October 12, in Hill Auditorium, when you can count on Zimerman to play whatever he wants any way he wants.
[Review published October 2007]