Around the Island

Peter Dugan performs for the Friends of Music 

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Last Year SIFM kicked off its new concert season with violinist Sean Lee performing with Mr. Dugan.

Peter Dugan, a 30-year-old concert pianist and music teacher at Juilliard added his name to the list of distinguished pianists who have graced the programs of the Shelter Island Friends of Music in the last four decades.

In a solo recital of works from seven countries, Mr. Dugan reinforced his standing as one of the fine young pianists whose future on the recital stage and with America’s great orchestras is assured.  

Often pianists begin a long recital with a work from the Baroque era, almost as a warm-up to more substantial (and difficult) works to come. But in the April 13 performance Mr. Dugan chose a French Suite by JS Bach whose concluding movement, a “gigue,” would have been a thrilling highlight of any recital. But there was much more excitement to come, always enhanced by Mr. Dugan’s charming commentary about the music he programmed. Rarely have we had a performer who could move so persuasively from the formal structures of Mozart and Chopin to the rousing Brazilian jazz syncopations of Antonio Jobim.

The pianist has been part of the Shelter Island music scene since he was 14 and a student at the Perlman Music Program. He expressed his affection for the Island by programming Debussy’s “L’isle Joyeuse” (“The Joyful Island). In fact “joyful” would be the perfect descriptor of the entire recital, even including works for orchestra specially arranged for piano by Mr. Dugan, which brought much joy to a large and appreciative audience.