International Piano Series brings Italian master to the stage at Fort Hays State


HAYS, Kan. – Music of the night is next in the 2018-19 season of the Fort Hays State University International Piano Series, featuring the Italian pianist and conductor Marco Tessa.

The recital, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, in the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center on the Fort Hays State Campus, includes nocturnes by Frédéric Chopin and Robert Schumann.

“A nocturne is a musical composition that is inspired by, or evocative of, the night,” said Dr. Irena Ravitskaya, associate professor of music at Fort Hays State.

“Written for solo piano, the nocturne was cultivated primarily in the 19th century. The first nocturnes were composed by the Irish composer John Field, generally viewed as the father of the Romantic nocturne,” she said. “However, the most famous nocturnes were composed by Frédéric Chopinwho wrote 21 of them. Nocturnes characteristically feature a long-span melody over a mesmerizing, even guitar-like accompaniment.”

Marco Tezza , born in Vicenza, Italy, has performed in concerts and recitals and taught all over the world. His program for the Piano Series concert is titled “… about the night soul.”

In his program notes, Tezza writes:

Night has always been the source of great artistic inspiration and with its mysterious appeal has fascinated the most important musicians, especially in the romantic period, so they have composed immortal works particularly roused by nightly sensations.

Night can recall the quietness of a postcard-like moonlight, but it is above all a space-time of the mind, where passions, remembrances, emotions and even nightmares intertwine and move our souls. This magical involvement will come out with the recital titled “....about the night soul.”

Presented by the FHSU Department of Music and Theatre, the International Piano Series, now in its third year, is a year-round program with a pure focus on piano. Funded entirely by donations, the performances are free to the community and students. Donations ensure the longevity of the program and support educational opportunities for music students.

“The series plays a distinctive role in the lives of students and the community by implementing excellence in the arts and education and cultivating piano music appreciation,” said Ravitskaya.

Each year, the series stages concerts for pianists from the United States and around the world. Performers range from young professionals emerging onto the world stage to seasoned performers with long-established careers.

“They all bring their unique approach to their instrument and contributions to the field,” said Ravitskaya. “They are role models to our students and a source of sophisticated entertainment for our community. The concerts take place on the university's picturesque campus. While on campus, the guest artists offer master classes in which students perform and receive critiques. These master classes as well as student honor recitals are open to the public.”

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