Performing Arts

Alexandre Tharaud Performs Bach’s Goldberg Variations

Alexandre Tharaud. Photo by Marco Borggreve

By Natasha Anderson

The Asheville Symphony presents prominent French pianist Alexandre Tharaud in recital on Saturday, February 17, at 8 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church in downtown Asheville. Tharaud will perform Bach’s Goldberg Variations, an iconic work which includes an aria and a set of 30 variations containing canons, a fugue, a French overture, a siciliana, accompanied solos and a series of inventions and dance-like movements. The complex and notoriously difficult keyboard masterpiece is an audience favorite that is full of joy and beauty.

“Bach is one of the most revered composers and his Goldberg Variations are considered to be among his masterworks,” says the symphony’s executive director David Whitehill. “This work really takes the listener on an adventure. If I were left on a desert island with one CD, this is the piece that I would choose.”

Few people are more familiar with Goldberg Variations than Tharaud, who took a nine-month sabbatical to hone his interpretation of it. His recording of the piece, released in 2015, earned him a spot among the New York Times’ Best Classical Recordings of 2015.

Recognized on the international stage as an artist of unique vision and originality, Tharaud has garnered praise for his performances and his recordings, which range from Bach, Chopin, Rameau and Ravel to music inspired by Paris cabaret of the 1920s.

Central United Methodist Church is located at 27 Church Street, Asheville. Tickets for the recital are $30 for adults and $15 for youth, and can be purchased online at or by phone at 828.254.7046.

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