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Nov. 10th Fortepiano Recital Offered in Catawba Artist Series

October 30, 2013

Category: Events, Music


WillisDr. Andrew Willis, a leading expert on historical performance practice, will offer a recital on the fortepiano, the precursor to the modern piano, at 3 p.m. Sunday, November 10, in Omwake-Dearborn Chapel. Dr. Willis' recital is free and open to the public and offered as part of the Catawba Artist Series for the 2013-14 academic year.

Dr. Willis performs in the United States and abroad on pianos of every period. His recording of Op. 106 for the first complete Beethoven sonata cycle on period instruments was hailed by The New York Times as "a 'Hammerklavier' of rare stature."  He has also recorded Schubert lieder and Rossini songs with soprano Julianne Baird and early Romantic song cycles with soprano Georgine Resick, as well as 20th-century works with flutist Sue Ann Kahn.

At UNCG, where he joined the keyboard faculty in 1994, Willis performs on and teaches a range of keyboard instruments from harpsichord to modern piano. Since 2003, he has directed the biennial UNCG Focus on Piano Literature, for which he commissioned, premiered, and recorded Martin Amlin's Sonata No. 7 (2000). Keenly interested in the history of the piano and its performance practice, he contributes regularly to conferences on keyboard music. A past president of the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society, he serves on the Board of the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies and was a finals juror of the first Westfield International Fortepiano Competition in 2011.

In recent seasons, Willis has appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Bloomington Early Music Festival, and the Magnolia Baroque Festival and has performed with the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, the Apollo Ensemble, and the Philadelphia Classical Symphony. He currently extends his investigation of historical performance practice into the Romantic era with performances on an 1848 Pleyel and an 1841 Bösendorfer, and into the Baroque with performances of J. S. Bach and Italian masters on a replica of a 1735 Florentine piano.

A graduate of the Curtis Institute, Temple University, and Cornell University, where Dr. Willis' mentors included Mieczyslaw Horszowski, Lambert Orkis, and Malcolm Bilson.

"There is nothing like this Artist Series in the community as far as a classical concert series goes," explained Jacob Hahn, a Catawba adjunct faculty member and Director of Catawba's Community Music Program. "Attending is a good way for community members, as well as students at Catawba and students enrolled in Catawba's Community Music Program, to be exposed to musicians of this caliber. Again this year, we are pleased to offer performances from both Catawba faculty members and artists from around the country who excel in their discipline."

For additional information about the Catawba Artist Series, contact Hahn at jahahn@catawba.edu or by phone at 336-456-4017.


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