The University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Music celebrates Felix Mendelssohn's 200th Birthday
On 16 October UNCG music professor Andrew Willis will mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of German composer Felix Mendelssohn with a recital played on a piano as old as the compositions themselves.
The recital will be performed on a Bösendorfer grand piano built in 1841, around the time when Mendelssohn wrote “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which includes the famous “Wedding March.”
"Performing on a period instrument lends authenticity to the music", Willis said to Lanita Withers Goins, University Relations. “On a Romantic piano, many unforeseen possibilities of color and timing emerge through the tone and touch of the instrument, and many exquisitely calculated details of the composer's notation can be clearly heard.”
Professor Andrew Willis is recognized for his performances on historical and modern pianos in the United States and abroad.
“I try to imagine what Mendelssohn would have liked to hear,” Willis added. “Since this is the kind of piano he would have played on, it gives me a better sense of imagining the kind of sound he had in mind when he wrote the music."
Born in Hamburg February 3, 1809, he grew up in Berlin where he was provided with a comprehensive classical education. At an unusually early age his exceptional musical talent became clear and was encouraged by a number of well-known teachers. From the age of 9 he composed short musical pieces, followed by his first symphony for string-instruments at the age of 12.
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy , generally known in English speaking countries, as Felix Mendelssohn.
By his early death at the age of 38 he had written more than 400 pieces of music: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy is famous for his comprehensive and significant creations in the field of symphonies, choral symphonies and chamber music.
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Music
The UNCG School of Music has long been recognized as one of the top music institutions in the United States and has been fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1938. The school offers the only comprehensive music program from undergraduate through doctoral study in performance and music education in the state.
Music has been a central discipline at UNCG since the university's founding over a century ago. Progressing from a department to a professional School of Music by 1921, the school was the first in the South to offer an undergraduate music education degree (1912). During the 1920s, the North Carolina High School Music Contest Festival - the precursor of today's influential North Carolina Music Educators Association - arose on campus.
The School of Music consists of five academic departments. There are also other specialized programs within departments such as the Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program and Opera Theatre.
Today the UNCG School of Music consists of over 600 music majors taught by a faculty of more than 60. Their outstanding resources and environment have led to the school serving as host for several major organizations:
International Tuba and Euphonium Association
International Double Reed Society
North American Saxophone Alliance
College Music Society Southeastern Division
Society of Composers, Inc.
Society for Music Teacher Education
Studies in the UNCG School of Music complement rigorous professional training with a broad liberal education necessary for students to function effectively as teaching and performing musicians.
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