February 6, 2002

Contact: Sarah Ray
Posted: February 6, 2002

MIDDLEBURY, VT -Virtuoso pianist Claude Frank will return to Middlebury College to perform at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, in the Concert Hall at the Center for the Arts on South Main Street (Route 30). A concert with his daughter, violinist Pamela Frank, was originally scheduled for this time and date but an injury will prevent her from joining him.

Frank will perform Bach's Fantasia and fugue in A minor; Schubert's Sonata in B-flat major; Mozart's Rondo in A minor; and Beethoven's Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 ("Waldstein").

Frank is an elder statesman of music having made his debut in 1959 with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic. His career has taken him around the world with the foremost orchestras and chamber groups. Frank has made his mark at prestigious festivals and is a renowned teacher at a variety of universities, including the Yale School of Music and Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music.

The Kansas City Evening News noted that Frank has an "ability to dramatize and colorize, to capsulize the composer's complexities." The El Paso Times declared, "His playing epitomized Beethoven as it ought to be played."

His recordings define his position as a master interpreter of the piano literature of Beethoven. Frank, who was born in Germany, fled Nazi Europe for the United States where he became the first American to record all 32 of Beethoven's piano sonatas. The RCA recording and subsequent performances of the cycle were a milestone of his career. Time magazine proclaimed it one of the year's "10 best," and High Fidelity and Stereo Review recommended it above other renditions. Fanfare magazine's Charles Trimball noted, "I was struck by several things that set him apart from some of his recorded colleagues: his extraordinary control of dynamics; … his scrupulous fidelity to the text; … his very fluent finger technique; … and his refined sense of sound and feeling for ideal balances and textural clarity."

Frank's Vermont concert is sponsored by the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series. Tickets for the performance are $10 for general admission and $8 for seniors. Reservations are required for a pre-performance dinner at 6:30 p.m. at Rehearsals Cafe in the Center for the Arts. For tickets or dinner reservations, call the College box office at 802-443-6433.