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Feb. 7, 2014
By Samantha Cole, media relations assistant
Northwest Missouri State University presents the 2014 Chopin Piano Festival starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Charles Johnson Theater, located in the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building.
The festival consists of three events and is jointly funded by Northwest’s College of Arts and Sciences and a Missouri Arts Council grant. All events are free and open to the public.
To start the festival, Dr. Peter Miyamoto, an award-winning pianist and associate professor of piano and chamber music at the University of Missouri-Columbia, will present a 45-minute lecture on the life and music of Frederic Chopin, through which piano students and the public will gain valuable insights into Chopin’s fascinating life.
Chopin was a Polish composer in the Romantic-era who is credited with inventing the concept of instrumental ballade as a genre of piano music. Much of his highly individual work contains elements of both Polish folk music and classical tradition, and all of his known works involve the piano. As a pianist he was influenced by artists such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Vincenzo Bellini and John Field.
At 3 p.m., Northwest music students, as well as registered junior and senior high school students, will perform Chopin piano selections at the Chopin Student Recital. The selections will include Chopin’s “Waltz in B Minor,” played by Emily Calhoun, a sophomore marine biology major from Sioux Falls, S.D.
“The festival is a great opportunity for music and non-music students alike to expose themselves to some of Chopin’s works,” Calhoun said. “I’m looking forward to both practicing my performing skills and sharing what the Northwest music program has taught me.”
At 4:30 p.m., Northwest piano faculty members will provide free piano lessons to registered junior and senior high school students. The faculty members participating are Dr. Ernest Kramer, professor of music; Dr. Anthony Olson, professor of music; and Dr. Charles Badami, instructor of music.
At 8 p.m., Miyamoto will perform an all-Chopin piano recital that highlights some of his most famous pieces including Ballade in G Minor, Op. 23; Nocturne in E-flat Major, Op. 55, No. 2; and Ballade in A-flat Major, Op. 47.
Additionally, at 8 a.m. Monday, Feb. 24, Miyamoto will present a piano master class with select Northwest piano students.
“The Missouri Arts Council grant allows our department to bring guest pianists in that we otherwise could not afford,” Kramer said. “Guest artists of high caliber such as Dr. Miyamoto are vital and necessary to keep our music students and especially our piano students inspired, knowledgeable and competitive.”
Miyamoto has traveled throughout the world to give lectures, master classes and perform. He is a former member of both the August and Beaumont Trios and was a founding member of the Quadrivium Players, a group dedicated to building a new generation of classical music lovers through innovative programs linking classical music with other art forms. He also was a prize-winner in the National Chopin Competition in 1995.
“The idea of the festival originated after our introduction to Miyamoto through the Missouri Arts Council,” Kramer said. “He specializes in Chopin’s music. Students are familiar with this well-known artist and learn to be well-rounded pianists through studying his work.”
Junior and senior high school students in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa are encouraged to attend and participate in the festival. To register to perform at the student recital or receive a free piano lesson, contact Kramer at email@example.com, Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Badami at email@example.com.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468