Michael Gurt headlines Tarleton’s 12th annual Piano Festival

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Pianist Michael Gurt will serve as this year's guest artist for Tarleton State University's 12th annual Piano Festival.
Pianist Michael Gurt will serve as this year’s guest artist for Tarleton State University’s 12th annual Piano Festival.

STEPHENVILLE (October 13, 2015) — Pianist Michael Gurt performs a solo guest recital at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, in the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center Auditorium at Tarleton State University.

The public recital features Robert Schumann’s introspective, poetic Kreisleriana, the gargantuan Sonata No. 7 by Sergei Prokofiev and two works by Heitor Villa-Lobos and Isaac Albéniz.

Tickets to the recital are $10 for adults and $5 for Tarleton students with a valid ID, and all seating is general admission. His appearance at Tarleton’s 12th annual Piano Festival is funded by the ULTRA Club, Tarleton’s Academic Circle and President’s Circle. For ticket information, call the Fine Arts Center Box Office at 254-968-9634.

In addition to his recital, Gurt, the Paula Garvey Manship Distinguished Professor of Piano at Louisiana State University, and head of its Keyboard Department, will teach and perform for both area high school and college students in a master class setting during the two-day Piano Festival, Oct. 30-31.

“We are fortunate to be able to present such an illustrious pianist for our festival, who is known for his virtuosic interpretations, and who has performed with the major orchestras in this country as well as internationally,” said Associate Professor of Piano Dr. Leslie Spotz.

Gurt won first prize in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in 1982 and was a prize winner in international competitions in Pretoria, South Africa, and Sydney, Australia. He has performed as soloist with the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Utah Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Capetown Symphony, the China National Symphony Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Panama and the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban, South Africa.

He also has made solo appearances in Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall) in New York, Ambassador Auditorium in Los Angeles, Orchestra Hall in Detroit, City Hall in Hong Kong, the Victorian Arts Center in Melbourne, Australia, Baxter Hall in Capetown, South Africa, and the Attaturk Cultural Center in Istanbul, Turkey. Gurt recently completed a tour of four cities in Brazil.

Gurt has collaborated with the Takacs String Quartet and the Cassatt String Quartet, and has performed at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, Queensland. He has served on the juries of both the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and the New Orleans International Piano Competition, and he has recorded on the Naxos, Centaur and Redwood labels.

Gurt serves as Piano Mentor at the Hot Springs Music Festival and was the chair of the piano department at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival from 1987-2007. He has served as Piano Chair of the Louisiana Music Teachers Association and has taught at two summer music seminars held at Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the Juilliard School.

To learn more about Tarleton’s Piano Studies program, visit www.tarleton.edu/COLFAWEB/music/piano.html.

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