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Phillips releases new CD on Albany label

RELEASED: June 14, 2011

Phillips

Dr. Nicholas Phillips
(Photo by Rachel Schimelman, R|S Design)

EAU CLAIRE — Dr. Nicholas Phillips, pianist and assistant professor of piano at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, recently has had a new CD released.

"Boris Papandopulo: Piano Music," from classical record label Albany Records, features piano music by the most famous Croatian composer of the 20th century. According to Phillips, it is the first commercial CD released in the U.S. devoted to the piano music of Papandopulo (1906-91). Phillips is aware of only one other recording of Papandopulo's works, which was distributed by a Croatian pianist exclusively in Croatia.

"I'm not sure why no one has done this project before, to be honest," said Phillips, who enjoys exploring new composers. "It is wonderful music; engaging on many levels."

According to Phillips, it may be because the music itself is not easily accessible in the U.S. He discovered it while in Croatia for a music conference in 2009.

"I was riding the street car in Zagreb back to the Music Information Centre with the head music editor. He introduced me to the music of many Croatian composers and I was particularly struck by Papandopulo.

"I find the music itself quite contagious. One hears lyrical, tuneful, folk-like melodies, alongside intense rhythmic writing. It is at turns virtuosic, playful, witty and often full of surprising twists," Phillips said.

Phillips purchased two scores while in Croatia, and the editor sent him copies of the other music throughout the last year. He programmed one set into his recitals at UW-Eau Claire in 2010 and audiences seemed to enjoy the music.

"I thought a CD would help expose Papandopulo's music to American audiences and be a valuable addition to the field," said Phillips, who recorded the CD at Wild Sound Recording Studio in Minneapolis, Minn. "I am most grateful to Marty Wood (dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of English), the College of Arts and Sciences and the UW-Eau Claire Foundation for their support of this project."

Phillips previously recorded "Portals and Passages" with composer and fellow UW-Eau Claire music faculty member Dr. Ethan Wickman, assistant professor of music. Both CDs may be purchased online through Albany Records and Amazon or through Phillips' website, www.nicholasphillips.net. The CD also will be available on iTunes.

For more information, contact Dr. Nicholas Phillips at phillins@uwec.edu.

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RD/DW

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