Piano institute is this week at UI
URBANA — The Summer Piano Institute at the University of Illinois this week will focus on concertos: virtuosic, multi-movement works that typically feature a soloist accompanied by an orchestra.
Ian Hobson, an Illinois professor emeritus and founder of the institute, chose to emphasize concertos this year partly because the collaborative nature of the works requires special abilities, and partly because concertos are a crucial component in most piano competitions.
"It's a different skill set than solo playing," he told the UI News Bureau, "and competitions put great store on concertos. The public loves the gladiatorial aspect of pianist versus orchestra."
Twenty current and former Illinois piano students have registered for the Summer Piano Institute; each will receive a private lesson from Hobson and UI Professor Timothy Ehlen, who won the 1987 World Piano Competition and has performed recitals worldwide.
The students will receive further coaching from Hobson and Ehlen during master classes from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
The classes are open to the public and free of charge. They offer a look at the preparation process for a performance.
"I think it will be fascinating for music lovers," Hobson said.
In addition to the classes, the public is invited to three evening performances, also free of charge.
All of the classes and performances will be at Smith Memorial Recital Hall, 805 S. Mathews Ave., U. The concerts:
— 7:30 p.m. Thursday: Hobson will perform music by Johannes Brahms, Frederic Chopin and Robert Schumann.
— 7:30 p.m. Friday: Ehlen will perform Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4; Hobson will perform Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1.
— 6:30 p.m. Saturday: Students perform.
Samir Golescu, who is scheduled to receive his doctoral degree in music next year, will use keyboard transcriptions of the orchestral parts to accompany all of the concertos.
"Samir was my student, and he is an experienced accompanist with encyclopedic knowledge of piano music," Hobson said.