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March Classical Roundup: Soloists Rule

Pianist Di Wu. 

Louis Lortie, Pianist 

Chopin fans, get out your credit cards. In a dramatic musical undertaking that’s been called the Everest of the piano canon, Louis Lortie tackles the complete Chopin etudes in one sitting. Lortie made his performance debut with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra when he was 13 and was soon touring China and Japan. Of his grand gesture, the London Financial Times says, “Better Chopin playing than this is not to be heard, not anywhere.”

March 12-14. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue (and additional venues). Tickets are $34-48 at 415-392-4400.

Di Wu, Pianist 

Another youthful prodigy, Di Wu made her professional debut with the Beijing Philharmonic at the age of 14. Called a “mature and sensitive pianist” by the Wall Street Journal, her fiery (yet suitably elegant) technique sent her across Europe and Asia - she played in front of an audience of 11,000 in Japan. Now coming to San Francisco for the first time, she’ll perform Debussy, Ravel, and Gounod-Liszt.

March 18. Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento Street. Tickets are $14-17 at 415-474-1608.

Tanya Tomkins, Cellist 

Playing the Bach Suites for solo baroque cello, virtuoso Tanya Tomkins manages to be both ethereal and wild. Quite a feat, all things considered. Her playing has been called “thrilling fare” by the San Francisco Chronicle, honed in Europe where Thomkins studied early music for 14 years. She also founded the Trio d’Amsterdam, which went on to tour extensively in Europe. Tomkins has played solo throughout Europe, Israel, and the United States, notably at Lincoln Center. 

March 19. Saint Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1111 O’Farrell Street. Tickets are $25-30 at 415-260-4687.