THE SOUND OF THREE HANDS
Genaro, using both hands, and Sam his left hand alone, have formed the unique musical team, "The Sound of Three Hands". The keboard duo draws not only upon their consummate pianistic skills, but also upon their creativity as composers - all of the music on this CD was jointly composed by the two artists. The duo uses acoustic pianos, digital pianos and synthesizers to realize their creative ideas as musical colorists and storytellers. "The Retelling of Dreams" is a collection of 18 brief tableaux evoking the emotional states associated with dreams. The title refers to dreams in sleep, as well as wishes, visions and fantasies. The music is rich in melody, sensuous in sound, tonal and unabashedly lush.
Sam Viviano earned two degrees from The Juilliard School as a scholarship student of Adele Marcus; subsequent studies were with Mme.Olga Stroumillo and Dorothy Taubman. He gave his Carnegie Recital Hall debut in l979 and his Washington debut at The Phillip's Collection in l984. The New York Times cited his "natural affinity for the music's poetic content", and the Washington Post his "total conviction and mastery" in a program which included George Crumb's "Makrokosmos". Andrew Porter, in The New Yorker, applauded his "sure fingers and large scale control". Sam is currently on the piano faculty at the University of Memphis, Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, and has previously taught at Middlebury College and Mount Holyoke College. He was awarded "Composer of the Year" for two consecutive years by the Greater Memphis Music Teachers' Association. After grappling with focal dystonia (a movement disorder) in his right hand, Sam has been concertizing for the last ten years with his left hand alone. As a composer, he has made an unprecedented contribution to the left-hand repertoire with well over 150 compositions.
Genaro Santoro received his B.M. and M.S. degrees from The Juilliard School where he was a scholarship student of Mme. Ilona Kabos. He subsequently did post graduate and Ph.D work at Boston University and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has concertized in the United States, Africa and the Middle East including two solo performances at New York's Carnegie Recital Hall. The New York Times praised his "temperament, big style and thunderous impressiveness". The Daily News, Durban, South Africa hailed his debut there as a "feast of pianism" and in Amman, Jordan, The Jordan Times remarked "it would seem there is nothing his hands can't do". He has been the recipient of a performance grant from the Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation and his performance of the Ravel Concerto for the Left Hand with the Vermont State Symphony Orchestra was recorded by Voice of America. Genaro has taught at colleges and universities in the US and South Africa and also at Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan where he was a Fulbright Scholar.