San Diego Story
By Ken Herman
March 30, 2014

Franz Schubert once claimed that the genius of Beethoven was generated by “superb coolness under the fire of creative fantasy.” In her long overdue San Diego debut, pianist Mitsuko Uchida offered probing accounts of Schubert and Beethoven to an appreciative full house at La Jolla’s Sherwood Auditorium.

Schubert’s phrase might equally describe her account of the two seminal works of the First Viennese School she chose for Friday’s (March 28) recital, Schubert’s Piano Sonata in G Major, D. 894, and Beethoven’s “Diabelli Variations,” Op. 120. Unlike the recent crop of piano superstars whose flamboyant body language forms an integral part of their calling cards, Uchida’s serenity at the keyboard assured her audience that fire and creative fantasy was contained only in the music itself.