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April 2010

Two great Romantics

For three days, the School of Music will resonate with the sounds of piano music.

It's the return of the popular Focus on Piano Literature series June 3-5. This year marks its 20th anniversary, and its focus celebrates another notable event — the 200th anniversary of the birth of two of the leading composers of the Romantic Era, Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann.

Romanticism was an intellectual and artistic movement which placed strong emphasis on the expression of the individual personality, in reaction against the rationalism of the Enlightenment. Mendelssohn, a child prodigy to rival Mozart, joined a gift for making the piano “sing” to an extremely brilliant performance style, while Schumann's novel and unique forms conveyed an unprecedented range of emotions from the most introverted to the most extroverted.

The highlight of the event is a June 5 performance by three guest artists. Internationally renowned concert pianist Ann Schein will perform Schumann's Arabeske, Op. 18 and Davidsbündlertä nze, Op. 6 on piano. Earl Carlyss, on violin, and Darrett Adkins, on cello, will perform Mendelssohn's Trio in D minor, Op. 49.

UNCG music faculty — including John Salmon, Andrew Willis, Nancy Walker, Robert Wells, Paul Stewart, Joseph Di Piazza, James Douglass, Marjorie Bagley, Alexander Ezermann, Ināra Zandmane and Fabián López — will also offer performances on the two previous days.

In addition to these performances, R. Larry Todd, a distinguished scholar on the faculty of Duke University and author of the preeminent biography of Mendelssohn, will give two lectures during the three-day symposium, and faculty members of the School of Music will also lecture. Guest Richard Kogan, a psychiatrist and concert pianist, will present a lecture-recital on “Schumann, Bipolar Disorder, and the Creative Process,” including a performance of Carnaval, Op. 9.

Offering a rare opportunity for pianists and teachers interested in the pianos of the Romantic period, Dr. Andrew Willis will lead a special two-day extension of Focus June 6 and 7, presenting master classes, lessons, discussions and performances on two meticulously restored and maintained original pianos of the Romantic era, an 1841 Bösendorfer and an 1848 Pleyel.

To register for any of the events, visit (PDF form**). Fill out the form and mail it in before May 20 to receive the lowest rates.

For more information, contact Andrew Willis, director of Focus on Piano Literature, at (336) 334-5508. Information, including a full schedule, is also available on the web.


** Link is for a PDF file and requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader which can be downloaded here.






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