Brian Dykstra and Friends to Present Faculty and Guest Recital
Free public performance to be held on Sept. 12 at The College of Wooster
WOOSTER, Ohio — Pianist and composer Brian Dykstra will host a faculty and guest recital with four of his colleagues on Saturday, Sept. 12, at The College of Wooster. The performance, titled “Brian Dykstra and Friends,” begins at 7:30 p.m. in Gault Recital Hall in Scheide Music Center (525 E. University St.). Admission is free and open to the public.
Dykstra, the Neille O. and Gertrude M. Rowe Professor of Music Emeritus at The College of Wooster, will perform in each piece on the program, including the five concert rags, which he composed for two of the featured musicians in the recital — flutist Katherine DeJongh and flutist and piccoloist Kyra Kester. Also performing will be pianist Laura Silverman and narrator Richard Figge.
Dykstra and Silverman will open the concert with the brilliantly pianistic Suite No. 1 for Two Pianos, composed in 1893 by 20-year-old Russian Sergei Rachmaninoff. Each of the four movements in the suite is prefaced by poetry by a Russian or English Romantic poet of the first half of the19th century. The four movements are titled “Barcarolle,” “A Night for Love,” “Tears,” and “Russian Easter.”
Figge will narrate “The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant.” This first in the famous series of Babar books was created in 1930 by Cécile de Brunhoff and her husband Jean for their two young sons. Ten years later the French composer Francis Poulenc composed a series of short musical pieces for piano, which illustrate in sound the episodes in the story. Far from being childlike in nature, the music is considered by one of the composer’s biographers to be “one of Poulenc’s richest and most diverse works.”
The concluding group of five concert rags will consist of “Lemon Grass Rag” and “Pilgrim’s Rag” for flute and piano, “Belle Rag” for piccolo and piano, “Fast Friends” for two flutes and piano, and “Let’s Go Together” for piano solo.
Dykstra taught full-time in Wooster’s Department of Music for 38 years and chaired the department for 14 of those years. Since 2007 he has taught piano at the College on a part-time basis. Three of the rags on the Sept. 12 recital program are included on his 2011 CD Neo-Ragtime, of which Fanfare magazine said, “This is great ragtime by a modern composer who is also an excellent piano advocate of his wares.”
Silverman has been an adjunct instructor of piano at the College for a number of years, and also coordinates the Collaborative Piano Studies program at The University of Akron. Figge is the Gingrich Professor of German Emeritus at Wooster and a noted actor who is beloved in the area for his many roles onstage at the College and elsewhere. He is also a movie critic, and his collection of film reviews, At Home in the Dark, was published last year by The Wooster Book Company.
DeJongh taught flute at the College for several years, and is now on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Preparatory Department. She also teaches at Case Western University. Her orchestral achievements include her current position as Principal Flutist of the Canton Symphony and the ProMusica Chamber orchestra of Columbus. Kester is the second flutist with both the Akron and Canton Symphonies and plays in the Cleveland Pops Orchestra. She has previously played with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, and other orchestras. She also teaches flute at Hiram College.
Additional information about the recital is available by phone (330-263-2419) or e-mail.