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Bicentennial Chopin celebration featuring ISU’s Neiwirth, Bond set Sept. 25 in Pocatello, Oct. 18 in Blackfoot

Posted September 15, 2010

The Idaho State University Department of Music’s Mark Neiwirth and Kori Bond will perform the complete works by Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) in celebration of the bicentennial year of his birth on Sept. 25 in Pocatello and Oct. 18 in Blackfoot.

The Pocatello concert will be in the Joseph C. and Cheryl H. Jensen Grand Concert Hall in the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25. 

The same concert will be performed at the Blackfoot Performing Arts Center (www.blackfootpac.com) at 7:30 p.m.  Monday, Oct. 18. 

This will be the final concert of three this year in which Neiwirth and Bond have performed works to celebrate major birthdays. The others featured works by Robert Schumann and Samuel Barber. Most pianists consider Chopin to be among the very greatest of composers for the piano, and audiences around the world have been thrilled by performances of his works for nearly 200 years.

The first half of the concert will feature Bond performing the complete 24 Preludes, Op. 28. These are short character pieces in each of the 24 keys, which cover the gamut in human emotions and contrasting characteristics. Many of the pieces are virtuosic etudes, inspired by the capabilities of the piano and the preludes of J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier.  Others are slow, poetic and intimate. They are all masterfully written and highly popular in performance.

Neiwirth with perform the four Scherzi for the second half of the concert. These are larger scale concert pieces that feature many contrasts within each piece. Like the Preludes, they require a vast array of pianistic techniques and incredible endurance to perform as a whole set. The greatest concert pianists typically have one or two of these pieces in their repertoire because audiences love to listen to scherzi, and they are a great tour-de-force for the pianist.

Bond and Neiwirth are piano faculty in the Idaho State University Department of Music.  They both perform nationally as soloists, chamber musicians, and concerto performers.  Their biographies can be viewed at the ISU music department website at www.isu.edu/music.

Tickets for the ISU concert on Sept. 25 are $10 for the general public, $7 for faculty and staff, $5 for pre-college students, and free for ISU students with a valid Bengal ID card.  Tickets are be available at the Stephens Center Box Office and can be purchased directly before the concert, by calling (208) 282-3959 or online at www.isu.edu/tickets/.

Ticket information for the Blackfoot concert is available at www.blackfootpac.com.

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