Andres-O’Hea, Piano Duet
“Their balancing of tune and accompaniment, their gentle underlining of inner voices was quite exquisite… two fine solo players making such beautiful music so unanimously as a duo. Exuberant brilliance… unanimity of thought, touch, interpretation and understanding was hugely impressive. I could imagine the orchestral colours as I listened, so delicate was their tone, so perfect was their voicing and so sensitive were the dynamics and pedalling” (Irish Examiner); “Highest creative level… Pure poetry: the score as canvas, sound as a line and colour nuance, structure as a garden in bloom, atmosphere refined and clear, while caring and tender” (Primorske novice, Slovenia); “The duo work reveals the couple’s many years of experience performing together” (CD review, EPTA Journal nº 90, 2010)
The Robert Andres/Honor O’Hea piano duo has been active since 1995. They have played concerts both in four-hand and two-piano combinations and have met with enthusiastic response from critics and audiences alike. Various composers, such as Roger Price, Pedro Macedo Camacho and João Victor Costa, have dedicated their works to the duo. They performed for many festivals and concert series in various European countries, such as Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Poland, Cyprus, Slovakia, Ukraine, Ireland, Slovenia, Belgium, Austria, U.S.A., Croatia, and Portugal. They gave recitals at the annual conferences of EPTA (European Piano Teachers’ Association) in Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Funchal (Portugal). In 2004 they performed at the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the “Tribute to Sequeira Costa” Festival, with the return visit as guest artists in April of 2015. In 2008 they released a CD of solo and four-hand piano works by the Madeiran composer Victor Costa. In November 2015 they performed at the Gala Concert of the national meeting of EPTA-Portugal in Viana do Castelo, and in December, they celebrated 20 years of activity as a duo with a performance of Bruch’s Two Pianos Concerto with the Madeira Classical Orchestra under the baton of Jean-Sebastien Béréau.
The Croatian/Portuguese pianist Robert Andres graduated from the Zagreb Music Academy and subsequently received a scholarship from the Soviet government to study at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with D. A. Svetozarov, a student of the great Russian pianist Sofronitski. He continued his studies in Vienna, and the United States where, as a Fulbright scholarship recipient, he studied at the University of Kansas with renowned Portuguese/American pianist Sequeira Costa, and earned there a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano, and a Master’s degree in musicology. He has also received valuable advice from renowned pianists, such as Pierre Sancan, Rudolf Kehrer, Claude Frank, Leonid Brumberg and Peter Katin.
After teaching at the Kalamazoo College in Michigan, USA, since 1993 he has been teaching at the Madeira Conservatory – Professional School of Arts, where he is at present a tenured professor of piano and head of the keyboard department.
Robert Andres has performed in recitals, with orchestras, and in chamber music concerts in many European countries and also in Venezuela and the United States. In 1998, he was the principal guest artist of the Amadeus Piano Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. He has collaborated with artists such as Artur Pizarro, Grigori Zhislin and Zakhar Bron. He is often invited to teach masterclasses and has been on juries of more than a dozen international competitions.
Having developed an intense activity as a writer and lecturer on musical topics, Andres has contributed to a number of prestigious music journals, encyclopaedias, and magazines in various countries. In 2001 the Scarecrow Press (USA) published his book on the beginnings of the scientific approach to piano technique.
The Irish pianist Honor O´Hea studied in her native country under Mabel Swainson and Jan Cap. She pursued her degree studies in musicology at the University of London, where she graduated with distinction. During this period she won many awards including the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Scholarship for piano and, in two successive years, the piano prize of the Ulster Bank Music Foundation Awards. She earned her Master’s degree in piano performance in the United States, where she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study under the international renowned Portuguese/American pianist Sequeira Costa at the University of Kansas. In 1996 Ms. O’Hea had the distinction of being the first non-American to receive the Adell Hancock Scholarship from the U.S. Institute of International Education.
She continued her studies privately with Dominique Merlet in Paris and has also worked with Pascal Rogé and Paul Badura Skoda. She has given many solo, chamber and concerto performances in the U.S., Canada, France, Italy, Portugal, Great Britain, Austria, Croatia and Ireland. Among her appearances in Madeira have been several solo performances with the Classical Orchestra of Madeira. At present she is a tenured professor of piano at the Madeira Conservatory-Professional School of Arts.