Middlebury

Renowned pianist Peter Serkin to give tsunami benefit concert April 17

March 1, 2005

Peter Serkin
MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-In a surprise concert announcement today, Middlebury College Performing Arts Series Director Paul Nelson heralded the return of world-renowned American pianist Peter Serkin to the Middlebury stage. Serkin, who last performed here in 1997, will give a concert on Sunday, April 17, at 3 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall. The concert program reflects his affinity for mixing contemporary and classical repertoire; works by Mozart and Bach will be featured alongside 20th-century compositions.

The proceeds from all ticket sales will be donated to tsunami relief.

Throughout Serkin's career he has successfully conveyed the essence of five centuries of repertoire and his performances with symphony orchestras, recital appearances, chamber music collaborations and recordings are respected worldwide.

Serkin's rich musical heritage extends back several generations. His grandfather was violinist and composer Adolf Busch and his father pianist Rudolf Serkin. In 1958, at age 11, he entered the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. In 1959, Serkin made his Marlboro Music Festival and New York City debuts with conductor Alexander Schneider. Invitations to perform with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra soon followed.

Serkin has since performed with the world's major symphony orchestras with such eminent conductors as Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Daniel Barenboim, Claudio Abbado, Simon Rattle, James Levine, Herbert Blomstedt and Christoph Eschenbach. Also a dedicated chamber musician, Serkin has collaborated with Pamela Frank, Yo-Yo Ma, and the Budapest, Guarneri and Orion string quartets.

An avid proponent of the music of many of the 20th and 21st century's most distinguished composers, Serkin has been instrumental in bringing the music of Schoenberg, Berg, Wolpe, Messiaen, Henze, Wuorinen, Goehr, Knussen and Lieberson, among others, to audiences around the world. He has performed many important world premieres, in particular numerous works by Toru Takemitsu, Peter Lieberson, Oliver Knussen and Alexander Goehr, all of which were written for him.

During the 2004-2005 season, Serkin continues his strong advocacy of new compositions by performing the world premiere of a number of pieces, including Charles Wuorinen's Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Boston Symphony in Boston followed by the New York premiere at Carnegie Hall.

Peter SerkinSerkin's recordings also reflect his distinctive musical vision. "The Ocean that has no West and no East," released by Koch Records in 2000, features compositions by Webern, Wolpe, Messaien, Takemitsu, Knussen, Lieberson and Wuorinen. That same year, BMG released his recording of three Beethoven sonatas. His most recent recording is the complete works for piano by Arnold Schoenberg for Arcana.

Serkin's recording with Alexander Schneider and the English Chamber Orchestra of the six Mozart concerti composed in 1784 was nominated for a Grammy and received the prestigious Deutsche Schallplatten as well as "Best Recording of the Year" from Stereo Review magazine. Other Grammy nominated recordings include Olivier Messiaen's "Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus" and "Quartet for the End of Time" on BMG, and a solo recording of works by Stravinsky, Wolpe and Lieberson for New World Records.

Serkin's concert is co-sponsored by two Middlebury College organizations, Brainerd Commons and the Center for the Arts. Ticket prices are $20 general admission and $15 for seniors and children under 12.  Tickets for the general public go on sale March 7. Tickets are available from the Middlebury College Center for the Arts Box Office at 802-443-6433 or https://cat.middlebury.edu/forms/cfa/obo/obo.php.

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