Releasing La Danza: Reich promises ‘old-fashion romanticism’ in concert

Published 10:03 am Saturday, May 19, 2018

Peggy Reich is the first to admit that she is “an old-fashioned romantic.”

“That’s my nature,” she says with a laugh.

But Reich does not apologize for that passion — she embraces it.

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“I like to take people into that world,” she says. “Back to that period of time, and let them listen to the beauty. It’s gorgeous.”

Austin audiences will get their chance to hear that beautiful music tomorrow, when Reich plays at 2 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre. She said she loves coming to Austin, she said, to not only perform in “that beautiful Paramount Theatre,” but to see her daughter and family, who live in Austin.

Reich has pursued, and today features, la danza music into her repertoire, and which audiences Sunday will enjoy.

She recalled attending a concert in Puerto Rico where la danza was played and being struck by its beauty.

“I just loved it – so much so that if I couldn’t find the music, I would transcribe it, it was so gorgeous,” she said.

She began her search for the music, through composers, radio stations, “really delving into its history,” and collecting pieces to incorporate into her performances. At the same time, she was making sure some of the early la danza music was not lost.

There are two types of la danza music – the festive and the romantic. The festive is livelier “and can make you laugh,” she said, while romantic la danza is a deeper and more heartfelt.

The daughter of an Argentinian mother, she grew up in New York with an early passion for all styles of music.

“I think I was getting piano lessons when I was what? – four years old, I think,” she said.

She attended the Hoff Barthelson Music School in New York, and continued through her teens with Baruch Arnon, of the Julliard School of Music. She earned her bachelor of music in piano performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and studied under Menahem Pressler and Dr. Joseph Rezits.

She has performed internationally, including at Carnegie Hall and Kosciusko Hall in New York City, El Museo de Arte De Ponce in Puerto Rico and as part of duets, duos, trios, orchestras, and as a soloist throughout the U.S. and Caribbean.

She has been a teacher of piano throughout her career, first as a way to stay more at home with three children, and today, as a way to share her love of music. Reich has expanded her touring schedule, however, now that she has a bit more time to devote to the stage.

Music, in short, has always been part of her life.

“I knew from an early age, that all I wanted to do was be a pianist; I would practice for hours and hours – and loved every minute of it.”

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