Pianist Avguste Antonov performs, lectures at YSU

Antonov1.jpgThe New Music Guild Inc. and Youngstown State University New Music Society are sponsoring three appearances by Bulgarian pianist Avguste Antonov on Aug. 29 and 31 and Sept. 3.

Born in Bulgaria, Antonov moved to Paris as a child and immigrated to the United States for his studies at the University of Kansas. He now lives in metropolitan Dallas and specializes in the performance of works by living composers. He has performed across the United States.

All events are free and open to the public.

Antonov kicks off his visit at 2 p.m., Friday, Aug. 29, with a guest lecture to the YSU Dana School of Music Piano Seminar, hosted by Dana Piano Chair Caroline Oltmanns.

Also included in his visit will be a CD release party and reception after his main concert 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31 at Sts. Peter and Paul Church (now Holy Apostles Church). The party will take place after the concert in the church basement fellowship hall. The repertoire of Antonov’s new CD will be featured. Hartshorn Recordings, a new New York label specializing in audiophile level recordings is releasing the CD. Youngstown composers make up three-fifths of the project.

Antonov also performs a Music at Noon concert at noon Wednesday, Sept. 3 in the Butler Institute of American Art’s Beecher Court.

The lecture and two recitals are underwritten by the New Music Guild Inc., the Dana School of Music, Sts. Peter and Paul Church and the New Music Society.

Other American composers featured on Antonov’s Youngstown recitals include Cleveland composer/conductor Matthew Saunders, University of Colorado composer/pianist Carter Pann, Arizona composer Sy Brandon, and University of Michigan composer/pianist William Bolcom.

Robert Rollin, professor emeritus of Music Composition and former chair of the Dana Composition Area, has his Blue Fantasy on the new disc. The composition stems from a long line of Romantic character pieces, but adds an American blues element combined with a piquant contemporary harmonic flavor. Rollin has received thirty-three consecutive annual ASCAP Awards based on the many performances of his original compositions.

New Music Guild member Richard Zacharias contributed his Romance for piano solo. Zacharias, a prolific composer, holds a PhD in English, a masters in German Language, and served as an RN in Florida for many years. He has participated as an important donor to Dana’s Friends of Music and the New Music Society and in the weekly YSU Composition Seminar.

Undergraduate composer and New Music Society President Samantha Hogan’s Cumulus Humilis for piano solo, a piece inspired by summer cloud formations, is on the disc. She is completing her undergraduate Bachelor of Music degree in Music Composition this fall at YSU’s Dana School of Music. She has written many pieces since coming to YSU from upstate New York, including an original work for string orchestra premiered by the Festival Chamber Orchestra at Dana New Music Festival XXIX in May 2013.