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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Virtual ‘American Romantics; Piano Pieces for Four Hands’ slated

Critic At Large

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Music

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Music will continue its virtual offerings with “American Romantics; Piano Pieces for Four Hands,” at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2.

According to a press release: In keeping with university policy and COVID-19 restrictions on public events, the concert will be livestreamed from Fort Howard Hall in the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on campus with no in-person attendance.

The concert will be livestreamed and accessible via the Weidner Center’s YouTube site at: www.youtube.com/WeidnerCenter

There will be no charge or tickets required to watch the concert. Audience members can simply view the streaming video Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.

The UWGB piano faculty – Michael Rector, associate professor, and Sylvia Hong, associate lecturer – will present rediscovered music by American composers for piano for four hands.  he works showcase the variety of styles during the late 19th and early 20th century.

According to Rector, the concert is preparation for a larger recording project. He and Ms. Hong spent the better part of a year researching piano pieces written for four hands by American composers from this time period.

In describing the project and music, Rector says, “Massive quantities of four-hand music were published, but most of it is forgettable salon music or pale imitations of great composers. Our program for the concert and recording is works that we feel are unjustly neglected.” 

The program will offer a variety of styles from the period, including lighter fare like dances and short character pieces that aren’t often heard in concert. None of the pieces presented has ever been recorded before, and many of the scores are very rare.

The highlight of the concert will be a piece composed by Arthur Bird titled “Fantastic Caprice.” This piece exists only in a manuscript held at the Library of Congress.

Michael Rector received his Doctor of Musical Arts from the Manhattan School of Music. He also holds a Masters of Music from the University of Maryland, and Artistic Diploma from the Vancouver Academy of Music, and a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts in comparative literature from Oberlin College.

Ms. Hong received a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory in 2012. She made her Carnegie Hall debut at age 16 as the winner of the National Russian Competition.

Individually and as a duo, the two have performed throughout the United States and around the world, particularly in South Korea where some of their career highlights include playing two sold-out concerts in the same day in Busan and being invited to play in the Olympic city of Gangneung during the 2018 Winter Olympic games.

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