Tarleton to host internationally known artist at annual Piano Festival

Juana Zayas

STEPHENVILLE (October 2, 2017) — Pianist Juana Zayas performs a solo guest recital at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, in the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center Theater at Tarleton State University.

The public recital, part of the 14th annual Tarleton Piano Festival, includes Bach’s Italian Concerto, Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 2 No. 3, Brahms’ Three Intermezzi Op. 117 and Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students with a valid ID. All seating is general admission. For ticket information, call the Fine Arts Center Box Office at 254-968-9634.

Zayas will perform and teach at the two-day festival, Oct. 13 and 14, with Tarleton and visiting high school students performing in a master class setting that Saturday.

“This will be an exciting musical event,” said Dr. Leslie Spotz, Tarleton professor of piano. “Zayas, known to international audiences for her historic and virtuosic performances, will share her unique talent with our local community and students. As a Steinway artist, she exemplifies excellence in her art.”

A native of Havana, Cuba, Zayas practically grew up around the piano. At age 2, she began spontaneously playing tunes on the piano and, at 7, gave her first recital. She graduated from the Peyrellade Music Conservatory at 11, with a gold medal for her performance of Schumann’s Piano Concerto.

She has given recitals throughout Europe, South America and the United States. She has performed with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Zeeuws Orchestra in the Netherlands, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Radio Televisión Española in Madrid, the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony and Rochester Philharmonic orchestras, among others.

In 2001, the Cuban Cultural Center of New York presented Zayas with the Ignacio Cervantes Medal, its prestigious lifetime achievement award for excellence in classical music. In 2010, her more recent release of the Chopin Etudes earned her the coveted Diapason d’Or Award from the highly-regarded French Diapason music journal, hailing her as “Une Grande Pianiste.”

In 2011, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of famous conductor Andrzej Markowski, the Markowski Foundation invited Zayas to perform in Poland.

Over the past 15 years, she has regularly performed at the Sala Verdi of Milan’s Conservatory of Music at the invitation of the prestigious Serate Musicali. She recorded one of these recitals in her recent Soirée Italienne—a two-CD set featuring numerous Italian-inspired works by Bach, Scarlatti, Clementi, Chopin and Liszt.

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