Violinist and pianist to perform at Bates

Violinist Janet Packer and pianist Jozef De Beenhouwer will perform a concert at 8 p.m. Friday, March 17, in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall on the Bates College campus. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

The first half of the program includes British composer Havergal Brian’s “Legend” for violin and piano (1924) and Beethoven’s Sonata, Piano and Violin, G Major, op. 96 (1812). After a brief intermission, the second half of the program begins with a violin solo “Soliloquy” (1998), composed for Packer by composer Andrew Imbrie, and ends with a Debussy Sonata for Violin and Piano (1917).

An acclaimed concert violinist and educator, Packer is an ardent champion of new music for the violin and in recent years has commissioned and premiered works for solo violin, for violin and piano and for violin and orchestra by Vagn Holmboe, Edwin London, Mary Mageau, Gardner Read, Andrew Imbrie, Vittorio Rieti and William Thomas McKinley. Packer is president of Pro Violino Foundation Inc., whose mission is to support the creation and dissemination of contemporary violin music. She also is the chair of the string department of the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass.

Fanfare Magazine has praised Packer for “the warmth and conviction that make her performances very emotionally satisfying.” Packer tours extensively and has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras, including the Warsaw Philharmonic, the National Symphony of Panama, Boston Pops Orchestra and the Rochester Philharmonic. Her recordings for a variety of labels reflect the wide range of her musical interests.

De Beenhouwer is a frequent solo recitalist in the major concert halls of Vienna, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Rome, Berlin, Dresden and Salzburg and has appeared with orchestras throughout Europe. A Belgian native, De Beenhouwer studied at the Royal Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp and at the Chapelle Reine Elisabeth in Argenteuil. In 1986, De Beenhouwer and the Vienna symphony premiered Robert Schumann’s “Konzertsatz,” and in 1992 the same artists gave the first performance of a Clara Schumann concerto. Both were unfinished works completed by De Beenhouwer and subsequently published by Breitkopf and HŠrtel. In 1993, for his efforts on behalf of the music of Robert and Clara Schumann, De Beenhouwer received the prestigious Robert Schumann Prize. He was the first pianist to record the complete piano music of Clara Schumann and has also recorded works by Robert Schumann and Ravel. For his recordings of Belgian composers Peter Benoit and Joseph Ryelandt, he has twice received the Caecilia Prize. De Beenhouwer is a professor of piano at the Royal Flemish conservatory of Antwerp and musical director of the “Concerts of Midi” in Brussels.

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