Pianist Duncan Cumming ’93 to perform tribute to Frank Glazer

Duncan Cumming '93 performs at the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall in an undated photo.

Duncan Cumming ’93 performs at the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall in an undated photo.

A pianist and member of the music faculty at the University of Albany, Duncan Cumming ’93 honors his Bates teacher and mentor, the late pianist and artist-in-residence Frank Glazer, with a tribute concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St.

Admission is free but tickets are required, available at bit.ly/oacbates. For more information, please contact 207-786-6135 or olinarts@bates.edu.

Cumming studied with Glazer, performed with him before and subsequent to graduating, and wrote a biography of the elder musician, titled The Fountain of Youth: The Artistry of Frank Glazer (VDM Verlag Dr. Müller , 2009).

In his Bates concert, Cumming will perform a program of music associated with Glazer by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Chopin.

Artist in residence at Bates from 1980 until his death in January at age 99, Glazer was a musician of international renown whose performing career began in the 1920s and thrived until autumn 2014.

“For this recital I will use some of the scores Mr. Glazer left me and, hopefully, some of his musical advice as well,” Cumming says. “The program begins with Mozart, the first solo piano piece I ever studied with him.” Here’s the complete program:

  • Mozart’s Fantasy in D minor, K. 397
  • Beethoven’s Sonata in C sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2
  • the Impromptu in C minor, D. 899, No. 1, by Schubert
  • two works by Brahms: the Ballade in D minor, Op. 10, No. 1 (“Edward”), and the Intermezzo in A major, Op. 118, No. 2
  • and finally, two by Chopin: the Grande Valse Brillante in A flat major, Op. 34, No. 1; and the Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9, No. 2.

Cumming has performed concertos, recitals and chamber concerts across the United States and in Europe. A review in the Portland Press Herald described his playing as “technically flawless… thoughtful, deliberate and balanced, without a wasted gesture or any histrionics.”

Cumming has recorded three CDs under his own name, including his groundbreaking 2013 Centaur recording of the music of Carl Maria von Weber performed on von Weber’s own piano, an 1815 Brodmann. The first recording of the composer’s music on that instrument, it also features renowned early music expert Christopher Hogwood, who plays the Six Pieces for Piano Duet with Cumming.

Duncan Cumming '93 and Frank Glazer

Pianists Duncan Cumming ’93 and Frank Glazer.

In addition to his solo work, Cumming performs frequently with his wife Hilary, violinist and adjunct professor of violin at the University at Albany. With cellist Şölen Dikener, the Cummings constitute the Capital Trio, the chamber ensemble in residence at the University at Albany.

In 2011, Albany Records released A Book of Hours, comprising music by William Matthews, the Alice Swanson Esty Professor of Music at Bates. In its recording debut as an ensemble, the Capital Trio performs two of the four works on the CD. Duncan Cumming and Hilary Cumming perform a third piece on the CD.

Cumming graduated Phi Beta Kappa with highest honors from Bates. In 1994 he received a full scholarship from the European Mozart Foundation and participated in intense chamber music study and performance at the European Mozart Academy in Prague.

Back in the U.S., Cumming studied with Patricia Zander at the New England Conservatory, where he received his master of music degree in 1996. In May of 2003 he received the doctor of music degree from Boston University.

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