Glazer celebrates three decades at Bates with season of most-cherished music

Frank Glazer in 2006. Photograph by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College.

Frank Glazer, a pianist of international renown, became an artist in residence at Bates College in 1980. This academic year, the 97-year-old musician performs an entire season of programs comprising his favorite music from his 30-plus years of concertizing at the college.

The autumn half of the series begins with a Sept. 14 performance in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St. Admission is $10 per concert or all eight programs at $65 per seat, available at Proceeds benefit the Frank & Ruth Glazer Scholarship Fund.

A limited number of free tickets are available for seniors and students; contact or 786-6163.

Featured this year on American Public Media’s popular program The Story, Glazer, of Topsham, has had a distinguished international career that includes numerous recordings, solo recitals and performances with orchestras and chamber ensembles. With his wife, the late Ruth Glazer, he founded the Saco River Music Festival, held in Cornish, Maine.

“In past seasons, Frank has actively embraced the opportunity to perfect and present pieces that are new to him,” explains Seth Warner, manager of the Olin concert hall. But after three decades at Bates, Glazer agreed with Warner that “it would be best if he could trade this quest for the new for the thrill of rediscovering some of his most cherished works.”

Here’s the autumn schedule of Glazer concerts:

  • 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14: Music by Handel, Mozart, Debussy, Chopin and Beethoven — the “Pathétique” sonata.
  • 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12: Schoenberg’s “Six Short Pieces,” along with music by Schubert, Brahms and Chopin.
  • 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9: Ravel’s “Valses nobles et sentimentales,” along with music by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin.
  • 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2: Music by Franck, Weber, Gershwin, Barber, Copland and Brahms.

Glazer’s energy remains a source of amazement and inspiration for those around him. In June, he published the book A Philosophy of Artistic Performance (With Some Practical Suggestions), a collection of aphorisms and advice that he has been amassing since the 1930s.

“I’ll tell you what makes Frank truly exceptional,” says Warner. “It’s that the time and energy he devotes to his music is equally reflected in the love and effort he puts into the human connections and relationships in his circle, both those at Bates and those that look back over nine decades.”

Categories Arts