|Joseph Kubera, piano
"I think he may well be this era’s David Tudor—virtuosic, smart as hell, far more eclectic in his tastes than you might think, with a marathoner’s strength to deal with any transcendental performance challenge."
—Robert Carl, Fanfare
It's high time that we celebrate Joseph Kubera's thirty-plus years of contributions to contemporary American music. This modest man from upstate New York is one of this country's greatest living pianists. Standard clichés don't do Kubera justice, so rare is his ability to conquer the most difficult music, and to simply reveal its great beauty through his care for it. Trained as a classical musician at SUNY Buffalo during the particularly fertile years between 1965 and 1969, Kubera was exposed to Stravinsky, Bartók, Hindemith, and Copland by his piano teacher Leo Smit, as well as to the usual common-practice era repertoire. Especially during his last year, performances by the Center for Creative and Performing Arts' Creative Associates as well as elaborate contemporary art and music events in greater Buffalo worked as catalysts to solidify Kubera's commitment to contemporary music, a commitment that has led to all of his achievements on record today. The four pieces on this recording include two works written especially for him - Byron's Book of Horizons (2009) and "Blue" Gene Tyranny's The Drifter (1994) - and two pieces written independently, but ones that have never been recorded, namely Julius Eastman's Piano 2 (1986), and Stuart Saunders Smith's Fences, in Three Tragedies (1998).