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Guest Pianists to Perform Music of
Edvard Grieg at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: Oct. 9, 2007

Edvard Grieg
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)

EAU CLAIRE — The 100-year anniversary of the death of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg will be marked at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a concert performance by three notable guest artists.

Pianists Kazuha Nakahara, Matthew Gianforte and Gregory Martin will perform a free concert featuring Grieg's piano music at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center.

The concert will open with Nakahara performing "From Holberg's Time: Suite in the Olden Style," Op. 40. More commonly known as the "Holberg Suite," the piece was composed as a set of pieces for piano solo in 1884, but in 1885 Grieg arranged it for string orchestra, which is its most familiar incarnation. The piece is one of his best-loved compositions.

Matthew Gianforte will then perform Grieg's Sonata in E Minor, Op. 7, an early work and one of Grieg's only large-scale works to incorporate folk elements. The third movement, in particular, has been described as "novel," with "a peculiar Nordic flavor and odd dissonances."

The second half of the concert will open with Gregory Martin performing five of Grieg's shorter works, including "Evening in the Mountains" and "The Goblin's Wedding Procession at Vossevangen." These will be followed by the large-scale Ballade in G Minor, Op. 24, which is based on a Norwegian folk song.

The concert will close with UW-Eau Claire assistant professor of music Nicholas Phillips joining Gianforte on one piano, while Nakahara and Martin share a second piano. They will perform an arrangement of Grieg's Concert Overture "In Autumn," which he composed while in Rome in 1865-66. The piece later won the Stockholm Academy of Music prize.

Nakahara has won top prizes in numerous music competitions. She gave her debut recital in Japan in 1997 and made her professional orchestra debut with the Fort Worth Symphony in July 1999. She is scheduled to perform solo recitals in several concert series in New York and Ohio during the 2008-09 season, and she also is a very active chamber musician, performing with the London-based Amaryllis Trio. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees in piano performance from the New England Conservatory and is currently completing a doctorate in piano at Indiana University.

Gianforte, a native of Chicago, was a top prize winner in the 2004 Indianapolis Matinee Musicale competition and has appeared as both a soloist and collaborative performer across the United States. He has served as both associate instructor in piano and coordinator of piano accompanying at Indiana University and currently serves on the faculty of the IU Young Pianists Program, IU Piano Academy and the DePauw University School of Music. He received his bachelor's degree in music from The Catholic University of America, where he studied with Marilyn Neeley. He received his master's degree and is currently working on his doctoral degree in piano performance at Indiana University.

Martin has performed throughout the United States and England both as a soloist and chamber musician, with upcoming engagements in Europe and the United States. While doing post-graduate research at the University of Oxford on the intersection of language, music and national identity, he presented on the Grieg Ballade during centenary festivities at the composer's home in Bergen, Norway. His presentation was called the "most important work on Grieg in years" and led to other recital and lecture engagements in Scotland, Germany and Norway. Martin, who also is a composer, studied in the preparatory department of the Eastman School of Music and earned his bachelor's degree as valedictorian from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He earned his master's degree from Indiana University, where his is currently a doctoral candidate.

While on campus, the guest pianists also will give a master class for UW-Eau Claire piano students from 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Oct. 22, in Phillips Recital Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center, as well as a lecture on the piano music of Grieg from 1 to 2 p.m. Monday, also in Phillips Recital Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center. All events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Phillips at 715-836-5842 or phillins@uwec.edu.

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NW

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