Belgian pianist plays Mozart with Bryan Symphony Orchestra Oct. 10

vanhauwaert_fullBelgian pianist Steven Vanhauwaert visited Cookeville last year as a member of the Felici Piano Trio. He studied piano in Brussels at the Royal Conservatory before moving on to Los Angeles and the USC Thornton School of Music. He has appeared in every major concert hall of Belgium, as well as venues in Bulgaria, Hungary, the Netherlands, France, Canada, Austria, Spain and the United States.From the stately opening notes of Mendelssohn's Overture to Ruy Blas to the refined elegance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 22, featuring Belgian artist Steven Vanhauwaert, the Bryan Symphony Orchestra at Tennessee Tech University begins its 2010-11 subscription season with a performance markedly different from the previous season's finale.

The concert, which also includes works by Richard Strauss, begins at 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 10, in the Bryan Fine Arts Building.

Tickets are $30 for adults, $26 for seniors 65 and up, and $8 for students. Call 931-525-2633 for reservations. The October concert is sponsored by Regions Bank of Cookeville.

"Other than the concerto, this is a concert of one-movement works, and the Mozart concerto is a departure from the kind of piano concerto our audience has heard in recent seasons," says BSO Music Director Dan Allcott. "Previous soloists have played what we think of as 'big' pieces – Beethoven's 3rd, Rachmaninoff's 2nd, the Grieg and Prokofiev concertos – and it's time for something of a more refined nature.

"I think of Mozart as the father of piano concertos, so by programming this piece, we're pulling back to the beginning," Allcott says. "The Mozart helps refine our expectations of what a piano concerto can be. Steven is very elegant, and what he'll give us in this concerto is a beautiful, pearly sound."

By contrast, the second half of the program is split between Strauss' tone poem Don Juan and the iconic "Dance of the Seven Veils" from the opera Salome – both works of great sensuality, passion, and melodrama.

Hailed by the Los Angeles Times for his "impressive clarity, sense of structure and monster technique," Belgian pianist Steven Vanhauwaert made his debut in China this summer, giving solo recitals throughout the country, including the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

A winner of the Maurice Lefranc award, the Rotary Prize, the Galiot Prize and the USC Concerto Competition, Vanhauwaert won the 2004 Grand Prize at the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition. He performs frequently throughout Europe and the U.S., both solo and in chamber music groups, and his music airs regularly on classical music radio in California, Arizona, Tennessee and Michigan.

Concert week activities in October include:

• "BSO Backstage," an original WCTE-TV production hosted by Becky Magura with guests Allcott and Gail Luna, executive director of the BSO, airs on Channel 22 (Cookeville cable channel 10) at 10 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 5; 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 7; and 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 9.

• Concert preview luncheon in Crossville: 11 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 6, at the Palace Theater on Main Street. Cost is $10 and payable at the door. Call 931-484-6133 for reservations by Monday, Oct. 4.

• Symphony Social, featuring live music, 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 8, at the Millard Oakley STEM Center on the TTU campus, 155 W. 7th St. The event includes music by jazz combo All of Us, a talk by Allcott, and a presentation on "The Science of Music." Admission is $20; proceeds benefit the Bryan Symphony Orchestra. Call 931-525-2633 for reservations by Monday, Oct. 4. It's best to avoid parking on 7th Street in front of the Millard Oakley STEM Center. Other parking and accessibility information is available at this website.

• Concert day, Sunday, Oct. 10, includes a preview lecture by TTU music faculty member Catherine Godes beginning at 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 10, in Room 223 of the Bryan Fine Arts Building. The concert itself begins at 3 p.m. A post-performance reception takes place in the lobby, followed by dinner at Mauricio's Italian Restaurant near the TTU campus, 232 N. Peachtree Ave. Call 931-525-2633 for dinner reservations by Friday, Oct. 8.

The Bryan Symphony Orchestra, the only professional symphony in a rural area of Tennessee, is a member of the Made in America consortium being honored this year by the League of American Orchestras with its 2010 Gold Baton Award. The award recognizes the role the consortium of 89 orchestras played in commissioning classical music, beginning with Joan Tower's "Made in America," which the Bryan Symphony premiered in Cookeville in 2006. Learn more about the Bryan Symphony.

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