2014 Tutunov Piano Series starts Friday

By Andy Combs

Two-time Grammy-nominated pianist Joseph Banowetz presents the works of Beethoven, Chopin, and Mozart this Friday at the SOU Recital Hall, opening the 2014 Tutunov Piano Series.

Banowitz, who is also renowned for his performances of Liszt, has had an impressive forty-year career sharing the stage across five continents with such prestigious institutions as the Moscow State Symphony, Beijing Philharmonic, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

The Tutunov Piano Series, which has been personally curated by Dr. Alexander Tutunov, features five concerts by some of the world’s greatest classical pianists and is part of the programming provided by the Oregon Center for the Arts, which has just barely begun its inaugural year. OCFA director Dr. David R. Humphrey urges students and community members not to miss this unique opportunity.

“We are so excited about this year’s Tutunov Piano Series and the amazing artists that Dr. Tutunov is bringing to the campus to perform,” said Humphrey on Monday. “The series has been highly successful the last two years and the third season is already promising to be even more so.”

The newly formed OCFA, which hosts an astounding number of concerts per year, combines all of SOU’s arts programs into one academic division.

Humphrey is ecstatic: “My favorite part of all of this is seeing how much students, faculty, and the community enjoy the amazing performances that we present.”

Piano virtuosi on the season’s bill include Joseph Banowitz, Francesco Nicolosi, Antonio Di Cristofano, Ivona Kaminska, and Christopher Bowlby, with a final performance by Tutunov culminating on May 22. The OCFA has been tirelessly preparing for the upcoming shows. Says Director Humphrey, “I know of how much work and effort goes into each concert and when there is an appreciative audience, it is all very gratifying.”

As the Rogue Valley’s only concert hall, complete with a giant $47,000 super-organ, the 436-seat Music Recital Hall at SOU is the is the perfect venue to showcase the results of the   OCFA and Dr. Tutenov’s powers combined.

“I love the fact that we have an outstanding music performance venue which compliments the incredible talent we have performing here,” says Humphrey.

Tutunov’s extensive connections in the vast world of classical piano have been instrumental in securing the series’ lineup this year. In fact, Banowitz himself has been one of his mentors and friends for many years. The selectees for the piano series are, according to Dr. Tutunov, united under the quest for “finding the deepest meaning and perfection in the music they perform.”

Friday’s concert—in fact, the entire Tutunov Piano Series—as well as many other concerts throughout the year are free to full-time students. Bro, why don’t you just go see some shows? David Humphrey thinks so, too,  and encourages students to “take advantage of the many free concerts and explore music of all types for their enjoyment and inspiration.”

In truth, the universal language known as music can cross over into all different aspects of our lives. Dr. Alexander Tutunov and OCFA Director David R. Humphrey’s tireless quest to bring world-class performances to the community begins here, at Southern Oregon University.

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