Pianist and professor Orin Grossman performs Chopin and Albeniz at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts September 25



Image: Orin GrossmanFairfield University's former academic vice president, Dr. Orin Grossman, is back and doing more of what he loves - performing and lecturing. On Saturday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m., audiences will have the opportunity to hear this master pianist in concert, performing "The Romantic Piano: The Music of Chopin and Albéniz." The concert will be at the Quick Center for the Arts and is part of the Arts & Minds season. Following the concert, the public is invited to join in honoring Grossman's return to the stage at a reception held at the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery in the Quick Center.

For his concert, Grossman has chosen an evening of Romantic music, including some of the most beautiful and dramatic pieces ever written for piano. In honor of Chopin's 200th birthday, Grossman will perform three of Chopin's Ballades and the Barcarolle. "I think these are Chopin's greatest music. He put into them all the dramatic power and lyrical beauty he was capable of," said Grossman. "Each of these pieces has it all - from the gentlest, most tender melodies to the stormiest most powerful climaxes. His understanding of the piano's potential to cover the entire spectrum of emotion leaves us in awe. As the interpreter, it's up to me to communicate that awe."

The other half of the concert consists of six pieces from Iberia, the great masterpiece of Spanish music by Isaac Albéniz. The exotic power of Albéniz's music continues to captivate Grossman and he is drawn to the expressive freedom it demands. "I fell in love with these pieces after hearing the great Spanish pianist Alicia de Larrocha perform them. They sum up so much of what is exciting in Spanish music - the special dance rhythms and melodic types that are influenced by flamenco music, folk dances and folk songs from Andalucía."

As Albéniz challenged himself in writing the music, Grossman challenges himself as a performer of the work, "As a student of the great Franz Liszt, Albéniz put everything he knew about the piano into these pieces. At one point, he almost destroyed the manuscripts because he thought they might not be playable." Far from being daunting, that kind of devotion to perfection inspires Grossman, "Thankfully, he gave them a reprieve and provided the pianist the chance to express his soul to new audiences."

Tickets are $35 and are available at fairfield.edu/quick or by calling the Box Office at (203) 254-4010. The toll free number is 1-877-ARTS-396. Special offers and discounts are available through the Quick Center's e-mail list. Join, by contacting boxoffice@quickcenter.com. And become a fan of the Quick Center for the Arts on Facebook! Keep up-to-date with the latest performance news, plus special offers and discounts! Find the Quick Center at www.facebook.com/FairfieldQuickCenter.

Directions: Fairfield University is located off I-95, exit 22 at 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, CT 06824. Access to the Quick Center for the Arts is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 7, 2010

Vol. 43, No. 32