U.Va.'s Chopin Bicentennial Celebration Honors Virtuoso Pianist and Romantic Composer

September 01, 2010

Listen to the UVA Today Radio Show report on this story by Jane Ford:

September 1, 2010 — The McIntire Department of Music, in collaboration with the Center for Russian and East European Studies, will host a Chopin Bicentennial Celebration at the University of Virginia Sept. 16-19.

Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Polish-French composer Frédéric Chopin, the festival includes a film screening, piano master class, two piano recitals, a lecture and two panel discussions, all featuring world-renowned scholars and performers of Chopin's music.

The events are open to the University community and the general public. Most are free, with the exception of the two recitals.

Andrea Press, a U.Va. media studies professor in the College of Arts & Sciences, kicks off the festival with an introduction to films about Chopin on Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Minor Hall. Her talk will be immediately followed by a screening of the film "Impromptu," starring Hugh Grant as Chopin.

On Sept. 17 at 3:30 p.m., Jeffrey Kallberg, a Chopin scholar and professor of music at the University of Pennsylvania, will give a lecture on "Chopin's Time" in Old Cabell Hall, room 107. That evening at 8 in the Old Cabell Hall Auditorium, Andrew Willis will perform an all-Chopin program on one of the composer's preferred instruments, a Pleyel grand piano from the mid-19th century.

Sept. 18 events include two panel discussions in Brooks Hall. From 9 a.m. to noon, a panel moderated by Robert Geraci, associate professor of history in the College, will address the historical context of Chopin's music, with contributions by international scholars Jim Samson of Royal Holloway College, University of London; Zofia Chechlinska of Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland; and James Parakilas of Bates College, Lewiston, Maine.

From 2 to 5 p.m., a panel moderated by U.Va. assistant professor of music Michael Puri will include presentations by pianists Mimi Tung, a member of U.Va.'s music performance faculty; Andrew Willis of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro;  and Roberto Poli (Rivers School Conservatory, Weston, Mass).

Poli concludes Saturday's events by recreating Chopin's final recital at 8 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall.

The celebration concludes Sept. 19 at 1 p.m. with a master class in Brooks Hall, in which Poli will teach Chopin's music to three advanced piano students from U.Va. and the Charlottesville community.

The Chopin Bicentennial Celebration is made possible by the support of sponsors including the Page-Barbour Fund, McIntire Department of Music, Center for Russian and East European Studies, American Institute of Polish Culture, Chopin Foundation of the United States, Slavic Literatures and Languages Department, Media Studies Department and an Arts Enhancement Grant from the Vice Provost for the Arts.

Tickets for each of the two piano recitals are $15 for the general public, $5 for students and free for U.Va. students who reserve in advance. Tickets can be purchased or reserved at the U.Va. Arts Box Office (434-924-3376). Tickets are also available online at www.artsboxoffice.virginia.edu.