Review: The Naughton Sisters dazzled at The Gilmore

Many renowned classical piano duos have kept it in the family — consider the Labèque sisters, the Pekinel sisters, or the Kontarsky brothers. The vast benefits of a musical partnership between siblings were obvious during Christina and Michelle Naughton’s concert with The Gilmore’s Rising Stars Series yesterday. The two 28-year-old pianists brought esoteric unity to their art form in a way only identical twins can. But as their spellbinding Sunday afternoon performance showed, the Naughton sisters are no gimmick. The two extraordinary musicians demonstrated uncanny harmoniousness and technical precision, even when expressing individual soulfulness and spontaneity across two separate Steinways.

 

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The Brilliant Naughton Sisters

They are dynamite — and not just musically. Twins Christina and Michelle Naughton gave an acclaimed debut at Frankfurt's Alte Oper concert house. In two concertos by Mozart and Francis Poulenc, the dazzling sisters from Princeton, USA not only displayed virtuosity as they climbed the musical summit, but also demonstrated an assured sense of style in their appearance, which included a glamorous costume change.

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Frankfurter Allgemeine

Mozart peppered his Symphony in D Major (KV 297) with crowd-pleasing effects for a performance in Paris in 1778. And yesterday at the Museum Concert in Frankfurt's Alte Oper opera house, Giancarlo Guerrero set the rapid scale passages alight like Mannheim Rockets, his pleasure clear for all to see.

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Naughton sisters dazzle Washington in Terrace duo-piano recital

WASHINGTON, November 16, 2014 – The Naughton sisters, a bright, new pair of young duo-pianists, took the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater by storm last weekend in their initial Fortas Series recital.

Not only did twins Christina and Michelle rock the room with the two-piano, four-hand version of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring,” kicking off the KenCen’s and the NSO’s weekend celebration of that pivotal modernist work. They also dazzled their enthusiastic audience with passionate but well-planned and nearly impeccable performances of Brahms’ “Variation on a Theme of Haydn,” for two pianos, Op. 56b; a two-piano version of Claude Debussy’s challenging “En blanc et noir”; and the “Variations on a Theme of Paganini for Two Pianos” by Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994).

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