Jonathan Salman is the youngest of a father-son trio that will play a concert of music by Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt and other major classical composers at Vashon Center for the Arts (Courtesy Photo).

Jonathan Salman is the youngest of a father-son trio that will play a concert of music by Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt and other major classical composers at Vashon Center for the Arts (Courtesy Photo).

Classical concert is a family affair

Pianist Mark Salman and his sons, pianist Benjamin and cellist Jonathan, will perform at arts center

  • Wednesday, July 31, 2019 11:37am
  • Arts

By Juli Goetz Morser

For Vashon Center for the Arts

Celebrated Seattle pianist Mark Salman and his two sons, pianist Benjamin and cellist Jonathan, will perform a concert featuring the works of Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt and other major classical composers at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at Vashon Center for the Arts.

Vashon audiences will recognize the talented trio from their previous performances during VCA’s music history lecture series presented by island musician and musicologist Michael Tracy. Those who have yet to hear a concert by the Salmans will be treated to an atypical experience: the seamless interplay of musicians all hailing from the same family.

“It is not that unusual to find children of musicians playing music,” Tracy said in a recent interview. “What’s unusual is them playing together. They know each other’s playing intimately, so you get a level of detail and emotion that you typically don’t get with musicians who don’t know each other.”

The Salman program will include Beethoven’s Cello Sonata in G; Debussy’s Cello Sonata; Schubert’s piano duet Allegro in A Minor, D. 947, the “Lebensstürme” — Storm of Life; Liszt’s Concerto Pathetique for two pianos plus other great works, some of which are seldom heard.

“The Schubert piece is a late work by the composer and is rarely performed,” Tracy said. “The Liszt piece is quite huge, it’s the precursor to his B minor sonata, which is rarely done because it is so difficult.”

A maestro of performing Liszt and Schubert, Mark Salman played five recitals in honor of Liszt’s 200th birthday in 2011 and is renowned for his recording of Schubert’s sonatas and Chopin’s mazurkas. Hailed as a virtuoso performer, the Juilliard School graduate is a Connecticut native who began his studies at age 8 and made his recital debut at age 11. He also studied chamber music and composition for two years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mark now lives, teaches and performs in Seattle.

His oldest son Benjamin recently graduated from Stanford University, where he majored in music with a joint major in philosophy and religious studies. A composer as well as pianist, Benjamin began studying both disciplines at the age of 10. Seattle Met magazine has called Benjamin “Seattle’s next great pianist.”

Son Jonathan is currently an undergraduate studying performance at the New England Conservatory. He began playing the cello in grade school.

The accomplished Salman family will play compositions written for solo piano, two pianos, cello and piano, and four-hands (two pianists at one piano), made all the richer by the deep and familial connections of a father and his sons.

Tickets are $16 for VCA members, $18 for seniors and students and $20 general. All tickets at the door are $20. For more information, visit

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