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September 18, 2003

WISCONSIN NATIVE, FAMED PIANIST TO PERFORM AT VITERBO

LA CROSSE, Wis.—The Viterbo University music department will host Wisconsin native and pianist Solon Pierce in a piano masterclass and a guest artist recital on Friday, Oct. 3.

The Independent Coast Observer recently praised Pierce for his "thoughtful…incredible… stunning bravura performance." An advocate of neglected and new music, his performances frequently include New York and world premieres of works by John Cage, Gunnar Johansen, Kaikhosru Sorabji, and Nicholas Brown.

Pierce, who was born in Plymouth, Wis., received his bachelor’s degree in music from Oberlin College, his master’s degree from The Juilliard School, and his doctorate at the University of Minnesota. He has performed extensively in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, most recently at the British Music Information Centre in London, Magdalen College and Maison Francaise of Oxford University, the Foundation Danoise in Paris, with other appearances in Copenhagen, New York, Boston, Chicago, Vienna, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and more. Pierce also performs frequently in Wisconsin, including appearances with the Festival City Symphony of Milwaukee and the Madison Symphony, and in radio broadcasts on Wisconsin Public Radio, Iowa Public Radio, and the WFMT network of Chicago. In 1999, he was awarded an alumni grant from Oberlin to conduct research and record Gunnar Johansen’s "Sonata No. 23" for Radio Denmark in Copenhagen. Pierce also is a member of the touring ensemble, the Trio Franz Berwald.

During the masterclass on Oct. 3, Pierce will work closely with three Viterbo students: Damion Mead, a senior music performance major from Lone Rock; Jackie King, a senior music performance and pedagogy major from Durand; and Michelle Shestak, a junior music performance major from Bryant. The evening’s recital program includes piano works by Bach-Busoni, Puolenc, Herskowitz, Johansen, Grainger, Faure, and Balakirev.

The masterclass is at 12:10 p.m. and the recital is at 7:30 p.m. Both events, held in the Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, are free and open to the public.

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