27 episodes

Mada & Hugh are a piano duo playing concerts around the world. Featuring Romanian-born pianist Madalina Danila and Curtis Institute alumni Hugh Sung, this show explores the world of piano duo music and life as performing pianists.

Mada & Hugh Piano Duo Mada & Hugh

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Mada & Hugh are a piano duo playing concerts around the world. Featuring Romanian-born pianist Madalina Danila and Curtis Institute alumni Hugh Sung, this show explores the world of piano duo music and life as performing pianists.

    An Unforgettable Interview with Trio Casals: A Journey Through Music and Passion

    An Unforgettable Interview with Trio Casals: A Journey Through Music and Passion

    In our latest podcast episode, we had the pleasure of hosting the extraordinary Trio Casals. This ensemble features violinist Timothy Schwarz, cellist Ovidiu Marinescu, and pianist Madalina Dallina. Join us as we dive into their fascinating journey, musical experiences, and the unique dynamics that make Trio Casals a compelling force in the classical music world.
    The Formation of Trio Casals
    Hugh kicked off the interview by introducing the trio's members. Ovidiu, a founding member, shared the story of Trio Casals' inception in 1996. He reminisced about their performances at prestigious venues like the Rachmaninoff Hall in Moscow and their journey through various collaborations until the trio reformed in its current lineup.
    Ovidiu Marinescu: A Life Dedicated to Music
    Ovidiu's path from Bucharest, Romania, to the United States is a testament to his dedication. He spoke about his studies in Milwaukee and his transformative experience at Temple University with Orlando Cole. Ovidiu emphasized the importance of musicianship, personal affinity, and promoting the trio, highlighting the unique bond shared by the members.
    Timothy Schwarz: From Competitions to Concert Halls
    Timothy recounted his journey from Philadelphia to studying under Dorothy DeLay at Cincinnati and Sylvia Rosenberg at Peabody. His academic and performing career led him to Rowan University, where he now heads the string area. Timothy's passion for contemporary music and living composers adds a dynamic edge to Trio Casals' repertoire.
    Madalina Dallina: Realizing a Dream
    Madalina expressed her excitement about joining Trio Casals, describing it as a dream come true. She shared her background in chamber music and the joy of collaborating with Timothy and Ovidiu. Madalina's commitment to exploring new and contemporary music aligns perfectly with the trio's vision.
    Challenges and Aspirations
    Hugh asked the trio about the challenges of forming and maintaining a chamber group. Ovidiu emphasized the importance of dialogue, respect, and focusing on common artistic goals. Timothy shared his excitement about bringing contemporary works to life, while Madalina highlighted the personal and professional growth that comes from such collaborations.
    Carnegie Hall Debut: A Milestone Event
    The trio's upcoming debut at Carnegie Hall on July 15th marks a significant milestone. This concert, featuring works by contemporary composer Carl Vollrath, will be a testament to their dedication and artistic vision. Ovidiu, Timothy, and Madalina are poised to deliver a performance that reflects their collective passion and expertise.
    Advice for Aspiring Musicians
    In closing, the trio offered valuable advice to young musicians. They emphasized the importance of daring to dream, taking the first step, and embracing the journey with all its challenges and rewards. Their collective experiences serve as an inspiration for aspiring artists to pursue their dreams with determination and passion.
    Our interview with Trio Casals was a captivating exploration of their musical journey, individual backgrounds, and the synergy that binds them. We invite you to join us at Carnegie Hall on July 15th for an unforgettable evening of music. Stay tuned for more updates on our website and social media channels. Thank you for supporting the Mada & Hugh Piano Duo blog, and we'll see you at the next episode!
    Tickets and More Information
    For tickets to the Carnegie Hall concert on July 15th, click here.

    • 40 min
    A Special Announcement & Exciting Music Ventures!

    A Special Announcement & Exciting Music Ventures!

    Join Madalina Danila and Hugh Sung in a heartfelt and exhilarating new episode of the Mada & Hugh Piano Duo Podcast. 🎶💑 From tying the knot to gearing up for grand performances, they share a cascade of personal and professional updates. 🔔 In This Episode: A New Beginning: Madalina and Hugh reveal their recent marriage and plans for a future celebration. 🥂 Podcasting Innovations: Discover how Hugh’s new podcast production method will bring more of their musical journey to you, faster and easier than ever before. 🚀 Solo and Duo Performances: Get the inside scoop on Madalina's upcoming solo debut at the prestigious Ruhr Klavier Festival in Germany, and learn about their duo performances, including a planned trip to Korea and an exciting debut at Carnegie Hall with Trio Casals. 🌍 Guest Features: Stay tuned for their upcoming conversation with Professor Lambert Orkis, exploring deep musical insights. 🎼 America’s Got Talent Audition: Laugh and learn from their unique experience auditioning for America’s Got Talent. 🤹 More to Come: They share their excitement for upcoming projects, including new episodes featuring influential guests and performances. 🌟 👀 Watch, listen, and be inspired as Mada and Hugh navigate their thrilling musical adventures and life milestones. Don’t forget to subscribe for more updates and exclusive behind-the-scenes content! 💬 We'd love to hear from you! Drop your thoughts in the comments below and let us know what you think about this episode. 👍 Like, Share, and Subscribe to keep up with the Mada & Hugh Piano Duo as they continue to explore the wonderful world of classical music. #MadaAndHugh #PianoDuo #ClassicalMusic #Podcast #MarriageAnnouncement #MusicLife #CarnegieHallDebut

    • 17 min
    S02-E03-Happy Halloween-V2

    S02-E03-Happy Halloween-V2

    The Mada & Hugh Piano Duo, a renowned musical pair known for their virtuosic piano performances, recently gave fans a peek into their Halloween festivities. The duo shared a video tour of their beautifully decorated home, which was transformed into a spooky wonderland for the occasion.
    As part of the tour, Mada and Hugh revealed their elaborate home Halloween decorations, which included everything from flaming pumpkin heads and cobwebs to skeletons and and a glowing crystal ball on top of a skull. Mada should really start a second career as an interior designer! Her attention to detail and creativity were evident in every corner of their home, making for a truly immersive and festive experience.
    But the highlight of the video was the duo's performance of a brand-new arrangement of "Hedwig's Theme" from the Harry Potter series by John Williams. Mada and Hugh's arrangement for piano four hands was nothing short of virtuosic, showcasing their exceptional musical skills and creativity. Their performance captured the magical and mysterious essence of the iconic theme, bringing it to life in a way that was both impressive and delightful.
    Mada and Hugh's Halloween video was a treat for fans and music lovers alike, showcasing not only their love for the holiday but also their incredible talent and passion for music. We can't wait to see what other surprises the Mada & Hugh Piano Duo has in store for us in the future!

    • 11 min
    Petrof's P. 131 & P. 173: Mada & Hugh Play Smetana & Enescu!

    Petrof's P. 131 & P. 173: Mada & Hugh Play Smetana & Enescu!

    In the vast universe of classical music, there's a unique kind of magic that emerges when two pianists collaborate, bringing to life the harmonious blend of four hands and two souls. One such collaboration that has caught the attention of the global music community is the Mada & Hugh Piano Duo. This dynamic duo has not only been creating ripples with their enchanting performances but has also been sharing their musical journey through a podcast series.
    The second episode of their second season is a particularly special treat for piano enthusiasts. Mada and Hugh offer listeners an insider's look into the illustrious Petrof Piano Factory. Petrof, a name synonymous with exquisite craftsmanship and timeless sound quality, has been crafting pianos since 1864. For a pianist, visiting the Petrof factory is akin to Charlie entering Willy Wonka's chocolate factory - it's a world filled with wonder, heritage, and musical lore.
    Right at the start of the episode, the duo paints a vivid picture of their trip to the factory. Their descriptions are so detailed and filled with genuine awe that listeners might feel as if they're walking the factory floor themselves, surrounded by the rich history and the hum of artisanal craftsmanship. But Mada & Hugh don’t stop at mere descriptions. They take it a step further by creating videos about the pianos they encounter, which provide a visually rich complement to their podcast.
    Then comes the musical treat.
    Hugh, with his profound ability to evoke emotions, chose to play "Hulan" by Smetana on a Petrof P. 131 upright piano. The choice of this piece, combined with the distinct sound of the Petrof P. 131, allowed listeners to truly appreciate the depth and tonal beauty of Petrof pianos. "Hulan" is a piece with intricate layers and Hugh's rendition on the Petrof brought out its nuances in a way that is both soul-stirring and memorable.
    On the other hand, Madalina took to the keys of a Petrof P. 173 Breeze grand piano to play the "Pavanne" from Enescu's suite op. 10. Madalina’s performance was nothing short of mesmerizing. The grandeur of the Petrof P. 173 Breeze, combined with the haunting beauty of Enescu's "Pavanne," created an auditory experience that lingered long after the last note faded.
    The episode serves as a poignant reminder of the symbiotic relationship between a musician and their instrument. Mada & Hugh, through their visit to the Petrof factory and their subsequent performances, showcased how the right instrument can amplify the beauty of a musical piece and how a talented musician can bring out the best in an instrument.
    For those who have yet to listen to the Mada & Hugh Piano Duo podcast, this episode is an excellent starting point. It's a seamless blend of storytelling, musical history, and breathtaking performances. Whether you're a seasoned pianist, a budding musician, or simply someone who appreciates good music and a compelling story, this episode promises to be an auditory delight.
    In conclusion, Mada & Hugh continue to prove that their musical journey is one worth following. As they unravel more chapters of their story, listeners around the world eagerly await their next stop.

    • 15 min
    Inside Petrof: Mozart to Moszkowski - A Dueling Piano Adventure with Mada & Hugh!

    Inside Petrof: Mozart to Moszkowski - A Dueling Piano Adventure with Mada & Hugh!

    There's a certain magic that unfurls when two pianists share a musical space. This magic is evident in the harmonious interplay between Mada & Hugh, a celebrated piano duo that has captivated audiences and listeners with their virtuosic performances and insightful commentaries. As the curtains rise on the second season of their weekly podcast series, music enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to. In the burgeoning world of classical music podcasts, Mada & Hugh have carved a niche with their unique focus on piano duo music. Their series is not just about performances; it offers deep dives into the stories behind the compositions, the histories of the instruments, and the personal experiences of the two pianists.
    A Visit to the Heart of Piano Craftsmanship
    The duo kicks off their second season with an intimate recounting of their visit to the esteemed Petrof Piano Factory in the Czech Republic. For many, the name 'Petrof' is synonymous with precision, tradition, and unparalleled craftsmanship in piano making. Mada & Hugh's narrative paints a vivid picture, allowing listeners to virtually walk the corridors of the factory, smell the wood, and feel the palpable passion of the craftsmen who breathe life into these instruments.
    Mozart and Moszkowski on Petrof Next Upright Pianos
    But what's a visit to a piano factory without some performance? Using two Petrof Next upright pianos, Mada & Hugh present an enthralling rendition of Mozart's Sonata in D major K. 381. The sonata, composed when Mozart was merely a teenager, has all the vivacity, sprightliness, and sophistication you'd expect from the genius composer. Mada & Hugh's interpretation, bolstered by the sonorous tones of the Petrof pianos, gives a fresh take on this well-loved piece, making it resonate with both classical aficionados and new listeners. The episode also features a scintillating performance of Moritz Moszkowski's "Habanera" from his set of Spanish Dances, Op. 12. Moszkowski, often hailed as the "German Chopin," has an oeuvre that's replete with lyrical beauty and fiery rhythms. The "Habanera", with its seductive, swaying rhythms, finds an apt vessel in Mada & Hugh's hands, and the Petrof upright pianos further enhance the sultry undertones of the piece.
    Looking Ahead
    With such a promising start to their second season, listeners are bound to be on the edge of their seats, eagerly waiting for subsequent episodes. The Mada & Hugh Piano Duo, with their combination of engaging narratives and sublime performances, are not just preserving the rich legacy of piano duo music but are also ensuring its propagation to newer generations. For those yearning for an immersive musical experience that educates, entertains, and evokes profound emotions, tuning in to Mada & Hugh's podcast is an absolute must. Their journey into the realm of piano duo music is one that promises discovery, delight, and sheer musical decadence.

    • 15 min


    In our duo concerts, we love to include solo piano works whenever possible. For our recent recital at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Clifton Heights, we had the opportunity to share works by Chinese composer Chen Xun Pei - “Autumn Moon Over Peaceful Lake” - and by Romanian composer Paul Constantinescu, "Dobrudjan Dance".
    "Autumn Moon Over Peaceful Lake" is a beautiful and contemplative solo piano piece composed by Chen Xun Pei, a Chinese composer and pianist, who was born in Beijing in 1939. He began studying piano at a young age and later attended the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. In 1961, he became a professor at the Conservatory and later served as the Chair of the Composition Department. He has composed a wide range of works, including orchestral, chamber, and vocal music, as well as works for piano and other solo instruments. The music is inspired by the tranquil beauty of nature, specifically the image of the moon shining over a peaceful lake in autumn. The piece is characterized by its gentle, flowing melody, delicate harmonies, and graceful rhythms, which create a serene and meditative atmosphere. It also incorporates elements of traditional Chinese music, such as pentatonic scales and ornamentation, which add a unique flavor to the composition. Overall, "Autumn Moon Over Peaceful Lake" is a captivating musical expression of the serene beauty of nature.
    "Dobrudjan Dance" is a lively and energetic composition for solo piano by the Romanian composer, conductor, and musicologist Paul Constantinescu. He was born in Ploiești in 1909. He is known for his distinctive style of blending Romanian folk music with classical forms and techniques. He studied composition with some of the most prominent Romanian composers of the time, including Mihail Jora and Dimitrie Cuclin, and later taught at the Bucharest Conservatory. "Dobrudjan Dance" is based on traditional dance rhythms from Dobrudja, a historical region in eastern Romania known for its vibrant and colorful folk music. The music features fast and complex rhythms, virtuosic runs, and playful melodies that evoke the joy and vitality of traditional Romanian dance music. Constantinescu was known for his ability to blend elements of Romanian folk music with Western classical music, and "Dobrudjan Dance" is a prime example of this style. The piece is a popular choice for pianists and audiences alike, and its infectious rhythms and joyful spirit make it a crowd-pleaser.
    To view the full recital, become a member of our Patreon page, where you'll get early access to all of our podcast episodes, as well as special material not available to the general public. https://www.patreon.com/madahughpianoduo

    • 15 min

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