TACOMA – In celebration of the 30th year that Grammy Award-nominated pianist Duane Hulbert will be inspiring local audiences with his brilliant performances, University of Puget Sound presents a special Jacobsen Series concert.
Beauty and Power: A Recital of Virtuosic Piano Works features Hulbert in a solo recital of dramatic and colorful works by Bach, Beethoven, Ravel, and Rachmaninoff. Audience members also will enjoy a kaleidoscope of accompanying visual colors, designed by Professor of Theatre Arts Kurt Walls.
The performance by The Juilliard School-trained pianist will begin at 7:30 p.m., on Friday, Oct. 2, in Schneebeck Concert Hall. Advance ticket purchase is recommended, and details are below.
“The program I’ll be playing is a selection of piano works that I’ve played in recitals here at Puget Sound over the past 30 years, as well as other pieces that I played while in college and in competitions in my days before arriving here,” Hulbert said.
The School of Music distinguished professor has won major international piano competitions and trained hundreds of successful and aspiring young pianists. His four-CD collection, Glazunov: Complete Works for Piano, was released last fall. Hulbert’s first CD of works by Alexander Glazunov was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2002. The evening’s program will include:
Johann Sebastian Bach: Toccata in D Major
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 32 in c minor, Opus 111
Maurice Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Études-Tableaux, Opus 33 (three études); Preludes, Opus 32 (G Major Prelude);
Études-Tableaux, Opus 39 (D Major Étude)
The Bach Toccata in D Major is a bright, sparkly, and lighthearted piece composed by Bach at a time he was experimenting with a variety of compositional models. The Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 32 in c minor, Hulbert says, is a “major warhorse” of the piano repertory.
“The emotional impact of this last sonata by the great master is different than earlier ones, because the raw power and drama of the first movement is contrasted by the beauty and poignancy of the second and final movement,” Hulbert says. “In the middle of the finale, Beethoven throws in an almost ‘jazzy’ variation of the theme. The ending is beautiful, peaceful, and sublime.”
Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit is one of the major virtuoso works of the impressionist period of the early 20th century. The piece is based on three poems by French romantic poet and playwright Aloysius Bertrand, each depicting a specific dark and diabolical subject matter.
The final set of pieces by Rachmaninoff is taken from his Études-Tableaux and Preludes. Each work is brilliantly displayed, with a technical skill that only a composer-pianist like Rachmaninoff could muster. The finale for the program, the D Major Étude, from Étude-Tableaux, Opus 39, was first performed by Hulbert at the 1982 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
The Jacobsen Series, named in honor of Leonard Jacobsen, former chair of the piano department at Puget Sound, has been running since 1984. The Jacobsen Series Scholarship Fund awards annual music scholarships to outstanding student performers and scholars. The fund is sustained entirely by season subscribers and ticket sales.
DUANE HULBERT, distinguished professor of music and head of the Puget Sound piano department, has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras, including the Minnesota Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Sinfonietta, and Seattle Symphony. He has performed as a recitalist at Merkin Concert Hall in New York; Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; and at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. He also has been a guest at the Eastman School of Music Summer Piano Festival and the Music Studies Abroad festival in France. In 1980 Hulbert, a native of Minnesota, captured the grand prize in the prestigious Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in Salt Lake City. Numerous other awards followed, including first prize in the 1985 Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition. Hulbert’s first CD of piano works by Alexander Glazunov was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2002. His four-CD collection, Glazunov: Complete Works for Piano, was released in 2014. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School and his doctorate from Manhattan School of Music.
FOR TICKETS: Tickets are available online at tickets.pugetsound.edu, or at Wheelock Information Center, 253.879.3100. Admission is $15 for the general public; $10 for seniors (55+), students, military, and Puget Sound faculty and staff. The concert is free for current Puget Sound students. Group ticket rates are available for parties of 10 or more by calling 253.879.3555 in advance. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door.