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Martina Filjak, Bringing Many Voices From One Instrument

Nathan Cone
Martina Filjak performs at Laurel Heights UMC on April 10, 2018.

“I actually remember the first time I came to San Antonio,” pianist Martina Filjak told me following her April recital at Laurel Heights United Methodist Church. “I really enjoyed the city. I think I really fell in love with San Antonio on first sight and it seems, really, that the love was mutual.”

That was back in 2012. Filjak has performed twice with the San Antonio Symphony and once for a Gurwitz (then San Antonio International) Piano Competition showcase. This spring, she visited the Alamo City a fourth time for a solo Tuesday Musical Club recital featuring music by Haydn, Liszt, and two organ transcriptions from J.S. Bach and Cesar Franck.

“The reason I like organ transcriptions… [is] I’m generally a fan of polyphony,” Filjak explained. “I fell in love with my own instrument once I discovered the orchestra… once I discovered colors and the polyphonic thinking that you can have on the piano.”

Filjak continued, “I don’t really try to imitate the organ, although I do try to have the idea of those extra bass voices that and organ would have, or certainly adding volume to the whole thing.”

Hear Martina Filjak play a Bach organ transcription in the audio player below.

Asked what’s on her wish list for future performances, Filjak lists the “Diabelli Variations” by Beethoven, more music of Bach, and Maurice Ravel’s “Gaspard de la Nuit.”

Hear Martina Filjak’s recital on Performance Saturday this Saturday night, June 30, at 7 p.m. on KPAC 88.3 FM and KTXI 90.1 FM.

Nathan has been with TPR since 1995, when he began working on classical music station KPAC 88.3 FM, as host of “Tuesday Night at the Opera.” He soon learned the ropes on KSTX 89.1 FM, and volunteered to work practically any shift that came his way, on either station. He worked in nearly every capacity on the radio before moving into Community Engagement, Marketing, and Digital Media. His reporting and criticism has been honored by the Houston Press Club and Texas Associated Press.