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Beard to perform Leschetizky concerto with Loudoun Symphony

ISSUED: 23 October 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Pianist Dr. Scott Beard, dean of graduate studies and continuing education, associate vice president of academic affairs, and professor of music at Shepherd University, is scheduled to perform a rarely heard piano concerto by 19th-century pianist and composer Theodor Leschetizky with the Loudoun Symphony Orchestra Saturday, November 2, at 7:30 p.m. at the Concert Hall at the Virginia Academy in Ashburn, Virginia.

The concert, conducted by Mark McCoy, also includes works by Wagner and Brahms.

Leschetizky as a pianist, pedagogue, and composer left an indelible mark on romantic era piano playing, as many eminent pianists of the 20th century are descendants of the Leschetizky school of piano playing.

The Concerto symphonique or Piano Concerto, Opus 9, originates from the 1840s and was neither performed nor published during Leschetizky’s lifetime, but lay hidden in the attic of the Leschetizky family home in Bad Ischl, Austria, until the early 1970s. Making its way to the United States through a chance encounter of Leschetizky’s granddaughter with Judith Siegel, a former teacher of Beard, the work premiered in 1977, with subsequent two-piano performances in New York and at the Newport Romantic Music Festival.

Beard is one of the leading experts on the music and teaching of Leschetizky, and his doctoral dissertation and CD recording “Leschetizky: Piano Treasures” represent some of the first major research projects documenting the composer’s music. He has performed Leschetizky’s music and given lectures about this important historical figure to audiences of teachers and students throughout the east coast. The concerto itself contains brilliant writing for the piano that is woven skillfully with the colorful orchestrations, making this a romantic-era piano concerto worthy of revival.

Beard is well known to area audiences, and his concerts have been praised for their passionate and poetic playing and innovative programming. He is a nationally recognized pianist, teacher, clinician, author, and recording artist. He was runner-up for West Virginia Professor of the Year in 2009 and was named 2006 West Virginia Music Teacher of the Year. His piano students have won prizes in prestigious state, regional, national, and international competitions.

For more information go to the Loudoun Symphony Orchestra’s website http://loudounsymphony.org.

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