The Williams College Department of Music presents visiting artist Edward Auer with a concert on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m. in Chapin Hall on the Williams College campus. He will also give a master class for Williams piano students on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 4:15 p.m. in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall. These free events are open to the public.
Performing on the magnificent nine-foot Bösendorfer grand piano, Edward Auer demonstrates not only what a world-class instrument sounds like, but also what a world-class musician can make it do. A member of the piano faculty at Indiana University and consummate performer, Mr. Auer will be spending time with Williams students as well as sharing his craft with the general public.
Mr. Auer performs the singular and very interesting Chopin Preludes Op. 28. The twenty four preludes are all in different keys and relatively short, no more than 90 measures. The shortest prelude is just 12 measures. For two years now, Mr. Auer has been at work on an ambitious series of recordings of the works of Chopin, to celebrate that composer’s 2010 bicentennial. As currently projected, it will consist of at least eight volumes. The first, Chopin Nocturnes Volume 1, was released to great acclaim and a dazzling review from New York Concert Review’s Harris Goldsmith. Edward Auer has long been recognized as a leading interpreter of the works of Chopin. As the first American to win a prize in the prestigious International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, he has returned to Poland for well over 20 concert tours, playing in every major city and with every major orchestra.
Also on the program is Schubert Sonata in A major (D. 959). Created along with a number of other works of the great Romantic composer in his last year of life, this sonata is widely considered to be one of his best.
Mr. Auer grew up in Los Angeles, where he studied piano with Aube Tzerko, a protégé of Artur Schnabel. A precocious chamber musician and the son of an accomplished amateur violist, he was playing the Mozart piano quartets and the Schumann quintet with his father and his friends at the ripe old age of eight. He won several competitions in the Los Angeles area, and frequently appeared in concerts there, both as soloist and in chamber music. He continued his studies at the Juilliard School with Rosina Lhévinne and in Paris on a Fulbright Grant under Julius Katchen. Besides the Chopin Competition, Auer was a prizewinner in the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the Beethoven competition in Vienna and the Queen Elisabeth in Brussels, and took first prize in the Concours Marguerite Long in Paris. Now, years later, these and other contests regularly invite him to be on their juries.