Contact: Dr. Gale
Odom, Dean, Hurley School of Music, 318-869-5235, or
Lynn Stewart, Centenary
News Service, 318-869-5120
Monster Concert Oct.
28 and 29 to
Feature 8 Pianists,
8 Grand Pianos at Once
SHREVEPORT, LA -- Eight
pianists and eight grand pianos will be on the stage of the Hurley Auditorium
at once on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. in
a concert of music especially arranged for eight pianos.
The concert is part
of this fall’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Shreveport Symphony
Nena Wideman Piano Competition. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15
for students. They are on sale at the music office of the Hurley
School of Music at 318-869-5235.
The program will contain
a variety of music designed to fully the exploit the colors and possibilities
of eight grand pianos on the stage. From the opening dramatic opening
of Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns through Percy Grainger’s
tranquil Country Gardens and the finale The Carnival of the Animals,
the eight pianos will interact in many combinations which would be impossible
without such a great number of instruments on the stage. Music Dean Gale
Odom reports that the difficult synchronization will require hours of prior
rehearsal to perfect.
Steinway Hall of Dallas
is providing all of the grand pianos for the "Monster Concert," which will
also feature the public debut of Centenary College’s own new Steinway Concert
The fundraiser to buy
this piano, called “88 Keys,” is currently running at the Hurley School
of Music. Donors can buy a key on the new piano for $1,000 each.
Six of the pianists
in the concert are former winners of the Wideman competition.
Yi Fan Liu is a native
of China who graduated from both the Mannes College of Music and the University
of North Texas, where he studied with Joseph Banowitz. A past winner
of the Nena Wideman Competition, he won the 10th International Chopin Piano
Competition in Warsaw in 1980, as well as the First Chinese National Piano
Competition in Beijing. Yi Fan Liu was featured in the Shreveport
Symphony’s Sept. 9, 2000 concert.
American pianist William
Bloomquist has performed in many of the nation’s major concert halls, including
the Kennedy Center, Boston’s Jordan Hall and Merkin Hall in New York City.
He has won first prize in competitions sponsored by the National Symphony
Orchestra in Washington, D.C. and the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra.
Now teaching privately in Sandy Spring, Maryland and working as Minister
of Music at Riva Trace Baptist Church in Annapolis, Md., Bloomquist is
one of two competition accompanists for current Nena Wideman competitions.
Professor of Piano at
the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, Elizabeth
Pridonoff has appeared with orchestras and on recital series throughout
the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia. She has performed
and taught at the major conservatories in China, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Taiwan.
A graduate of the Juilliard School, she holds master's degrees in both
piano and voice, studying piano with Sasha Gorodnitsky and Adele Marcus,
and voice with Hans Heinz and Anna Kaskas. Her students have been
first-prize winners in competitions such as the Horowitz, Missouri Southern,
American Pianists Association Biennial Fellowship Auditions, Shreveport
Wideman, and Midland-Odessa.
Originally from Baton
Rouge, Domonique Launey has performed throughout the Southwest United States
and in Europe. Performances with orchestras include the San Antonio
Symphony, Shreveport Symphony, Oklahoma Symphony, University of Texas at
Austin Symphony, as well as L’Orchestre de Chapelle Minimes in Brussels,
Belgium. In Brussels, she was awarded the Gold Medal at L’Academie
de Musique. Besides winning the Wideman Competition, she won the
University of Texas Symphony Concerto Competition and competed in the preliminaries
of the Van Cliburn Piano Competition. A graduate of the University
of Texas at Austin, she studied with David Renner and Nancy Garrett.
Jon Hynes is a native
of Arkansas who has performed around the world, from the Baccarelli Auditorium
in Sao Paulo, Brazil to London’s St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the International
Musicora Festival in Paris and the Gnessin School of Music in Moscow.
He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with
Vitaly Margulis and Natalya Antonova. While at Eastman, he won the
Eastman Concerto Competition and was the recipient of the Max Landow Memorial
Scholarship for outstanding achievement in the doctoral program.
Catharine Lysinger recently
completed her DMA in piano performance at the University of Houston’s Moores
School of Music, studying with Nancy Weems and Horacio Gutiérrez.
She has performed with such groups as the Filarmónico de Jalisco
in Guadalajara, Mexico and the Houston Civic Symphony. Among her
numerous awards and honors are first prize in the Nena Wideman Competition
and the 1995 National First Prize in the Music Teachers National Association.
She is founder and director of the Moores School of Music’s Preparatory
and Continuing Studies program.
Pianist Gay Grosz is a
former student of Nena Wideman. She was herself a finalist in the
competition, and is now one of two competition accompanists for the Wideman.
A graduate of Centenary College and Louisiana State University, where she
studied with Constance Knox Carroll, she is on the faculty of Centenary’s
Hurley School of Music. She recently received the Ronald Brothers
Outstanding Accompanist award for the Southern Region of the National Association
of Teachers of Singing. Grosz is coach/accompanist for the Shreveport
Opera and Longview Opera companies. She has performed with the Marshall
Symphony Orchestra, Shreveport Symphony, Baroque Artists of Shreveport,
New Friends Chamber Players, and the Evangeline Trio.
Four conductors will take
the podium to lead the eight pianists in the Monster Concert.
Richard Cass has been
a frequent judge of the Nena Wideman Piano Competition. A graduate
of Furman University, he studied in Paris at the Ecole Normale de Musique
and privately with Nadia Boulanger and Jules Gentil. After winning
the Young Artist Auditions of the National Federation of Music Clubs, he
launched his concert career with Columbia Artist Management. He is
now Distinguished Teaching Professor of Music of the University of Missouri.
Francisco Orozco is conductor
of the Guadalajara Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of
the Filarmónico de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico. He studied
both at the University of Guadalajara and the Musikhochschule in Munich.
Now very active in conducting operas as well as symphonic works, he is
the founder of a new youth orchestra at the University of Guadalajara,
where he is professor of music.
Philip Pletcher directs
the St. Cecilia Music Society in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he founded
the eight-piano concert concept at their concert series. A graduate
of Michigan State University, he studied piano there with Ralph Votapek.
A multi-faceted musician, Philip accompanies, teaches, and hosts a weekly
radio show “Guest Conductor” on WFGR 98.7 FM.
James Setapen has been
conductor of the Amarillo Symphony since 1988. He has conducted many
orchestras throughout this country and abroad, including those of Baltimore,
Indianapolis, Denver, Honolulu, Orlando, and Tulsa, as well as the Bochum
and Hagen Philharmonics (Germany) and the Florence Sinfonietta. Also
maintaining an active career as an opera conductor, he has led the Birmingham
Civic Opera, the Cleveland Opera Theater, the Des Moines Metro Opera, the
Mississippi and the Amarillo Operas. Former associate conductor of
the Denver Symphony and the Omaha Symphony, Setapen won first prize in
the Oakland Symphony’s American Conductors Competition. A graduate
of the Eastman School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music, he
served this summer on the faculty of the Conductors' Institute at Bard
College in New York.
Lester Senter Wilson,
executive director of the Shreveport Symphony Nena Wideman Piano Competition,
will narrate The Carnival of the Animals. She has sung with
opera companies and symphonies across the nation in Dallas, New Orleans,
Orlando, Knoxville, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Cedar Rapids, Amarillo, Denver
Well-known and beloved
by Shreveport audiences, John Shenaut is conductor emeritus of the Shreveport
Symphony. He studied in the U.S. with Pierre Monteux and Rudolph
Ganz, and abroad with Rafael Kubelik in Lucerne, Nadia Boulanger and Eugene
Bigot in Paris, Bernard Paumgartner at Salzburg’s Mozarteum, Sergiu Celibidache
in Prague, and Herbert Ahlendorf at the Academy of Music in Berlin.
He has been guest conductor with numerous orchestras, both in the United
States, Mexico and in Europe. In his three decades with the Shreveport
Symphony, Shenaut also conducted 200 performances of operas, including
the first U.S. performances of Donizetti’s Tudor Trilogy (Anna Bolena,
Maria Stuarda and Roberto Devereaux) all as a dramatic unity in festival
She has participated
in music festivals with the Des Moines Metro Opera, Spoleto Festival in
Charleston, S.C., and the Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, N.Y.
She has appeared on television in two specials: Benjamin Britten’s
A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Carlisle Floyd’s Flower and Hawk.
She has just completed an appearance with the Mobile Opera in Aaron Copland’s
The Tender Land.
For further information
about the Monster Concert, contact Dr. Gale Odom, dean of the Hurley School
of Music at Centenary, at 318-869-5235.
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