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UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield Hall 218
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
Cecchini to Lead Lecture/Recital
phone (715) 836-4741
fax (715) 836-2900

MAILED: April 2, 1998

EAU CLAIRE --The bravura technique and poetic expression of Frederic Chopin's etudes will be explored by pianist Penelope Cecchini at a lecture-recital on Friday, April 24, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
The Provost's Lecture, which closes the 56th season of The Forum, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Gantner Concert Hall, Fine Arts Center. A gala reception in the Fine Arts Center lobby will follow the presentation.
Legendary in their difficulty, the Chopin Etudes, Op. 25, have been compared to a private journal tracing Chopin's innermost thoughts and feelings. The 12 piano studies contain the essence of the composer -- harmonic fluidity, voluptuous melodies, inner vitality, and a distinct personal style that characterizes Chopin's entire repertoire.
Chopin recognized the wider musical possibilities in the etude, a form that was created as a teaching exercise designed to improve the technique of an instrumental performer. Written between 1832 and 1836, when Chopin was between 22 and 26 years old, the studies extended the range of piano music to new tonal limits, revolutionized finger technique, and combined technical problems with profound musical meaning.
"Ms. Cecchini's performance was far more than a mere exhibition of dazzling technical virtuosity," wrote the Transylvania Times of Brevard, N.C., following the pianist's performance of the Op. 10 and Op. 25 Etudes. "It was the ultimate demonstration of the ability of an artist to play with such control and musicianship as to conceal the difficulty of the music and its enormous physical, intellectual and emotional demands upon the performer. Ms. Cecchini met each of these myriad musical challenges in a manner which leaves one searching in vain for adequate superlatives."
Penelope Cecchini is professor of piano and coordinator of the keyboard division within the UW-Eau Claire department of music and theatre arts. She maintains a career as a solo recitalist, as a collaborator with colleagues, and as a founding member of the faculty piano trio, Trio Toscano, in addition to her full-time teaching association of 32 years with UW-Eau Claire.
She graduated magna cum laude from Butler University (Indianapolis, Ind.) with a bachelor of music degree in piano performance, and from Michigan State University where she earned a master of music degree and a diploma for advanced graduate study. She also studied for a summer at Aspen, Colo. Teachers influential in her career are Martin Marks, Pierre Luboshutz, and Ralph Votapek, winner of the first Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Cecchini made an intensive study of the Chopin etudes in southern Tuscany, Italy, with the late Maestro Orazio Frugoni, to whom her Forum lecture-recital is dedicated.
Tickets are $7 for the public; $5 for those age 62 and over, and UW-Eau Claire faculty/staff; or $3 for those age 17 and under, and UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727, and will be sold at the door.
The Forum is made possible by student funds allocated by the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate. Underwritten by the office of the provost, the Provost's Lecture component of The Forum represents collaborative support by students and university administration and provides visibility for outstanding faculty.


UWEC [Administrative Offices] [News Bureau]

Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 218
(715) 836-4741

Updated: April 2, 1998