Pianist Dror Biran

Georgetown, KY – The annual Faculty Showcase Recital was to have kick-started the second semester of Georgetown College’s “Noteworthy: A Faculty and Guest Artist Concert Series” at the end of January.

But, with the announcement today of two exciting concerts involving internationally-acclaimed members of the University of Louisville School of Music faculty, Georgetown’s Showcase becomes sumptuous “sandwich” material for a spectacular week for the classics and the “Noteworthy” series has become a baker’s dozen of events. All are free and in John L. Hill Chapel.

Both Noteworthy additions (January 25 and February 2) will feature featuring prize-winning pianist Dror Biran, who has fallen in love with Georgetown College’s Steinway Model D.

Biran’s first experience on GC’s Stephen Tilford Memorial Piano was on October 26, the fifth Noteworthy concert of the year, when he played a selection of works by Johannes Brahms. According to Mami Hayashida, Georgetown’s Assistant Professor of Music (piano), he said afterwards, “Oh, my gosh, this is a great piano! May I come back and play some more?”

Dr. Hayashida made sure that her good friend, Biran, returned so that more students and area patrons could enjoy his expertise. “Dror has received top prizes at some of the most prestigious piano competitions in the world including the Cleveland Competition,” she said. “His playing is a perfect synthesis of intelligence, poetry, power, and solid technical foundation. In my opinion, he is one of the greatest pianists of my generation.”

Matt Grossman knows Biran as a visitor to his store – Simply Grand and Vintage Piano Works – on the Indiana side of Louisville and appreciates that an artist of such high quality doesn’t wear his fame on his sleeve.

“Dror is so approachable and gracious,” said Grossman, owner of the company that supplies the five grand and vertical pianos for GC’s Music Department in the collaborative arrangement with Kawai USA. (Thanks to a generous donation from Larry Carlton, the College was also able to purchase nine digital pianos for the keyboard lab from Grossman) “That personality also makes (Biran) a great teacher.”

Hayashida pointed out that having the caliber of these internationally-known U of L colleagues – all part of Louisville’s Music eX Series – perform here free was a rare treat. “We are fortunate that they have decided to perform for us on campus,” she said, noting that these guest artists will be doing basically these same chamber music programs in Louisville a few days later for $15 admission. “I know quite a few people from Lexington and beyond who are planning to drive here for these concerts.”

Below is the updated schedule for the remainder of the 2011-12 Noteworthy concert series. (Note that the GC Faculty Showcase and the final two events are on Sundays and begin at 3 p.m.)

January 25 – Johannes Brahms Complete Cello Sonatas. 8 p.m. Dror Biran, Piano, and Paul York, Cello. Johannes Brahms Sonata for Cello and Piano in E minor Op.38; Sonata for Cello and Piano in F minor Op.99.

January 29 – Faculty Showcase Recital. 3 p.m. GC music faculty (Sonny Burnette, Heather Hunnicutt, H.M. Lewis, Pete LaRue, Mami Hayashida, Rebecca Miller, David Geirlach, and Lori Smith) will be performing music by Handel, Liszt, Puccini and others. 

February 2 –Brahms Piano Quartets. 8 p.m. University of Louisville School of Music faculty: Dror Biran, Piano; Patrick Rafferty, Violin; Brittany MacWilliams, Violin; and Paul York, Cello. Johannes Brahms Piano Quartet in G minor Op.25; Piano Quintet in F minor Op. 34

February 12 – Tour of Europe. 8 p.m. Soprano Heather Winter Hunnicutt, chair of Georgetown College’s Music Department, collaborates with Lexington Catholic High School faculty Rob Vanover on a traditional art song concert spanning hundreds of years and multiple countries in Western Europe; plus a little opera.

March 15 – Cornet Masters. 8 p.m. Georgetown College faculty H. M. Lewis, trumpet, presents great works by cornet masters of late nineteenth and early twentieth century America

March 25 – An Evening of Piano Music.  3 p.m. Pianist Eunbyol Ko of South Korea and Assistant Professor of Piano at Morehead State University. First-prize winner of the South Korea National Piano Competition, she has performed in Canada, Austria, Belgium, Italy, the Czech Republic, South Korea, and throughout the United States.

April 22 – “1 + 1 + 1 = 141.” 3 p.m. The Bluegrass Brass Trio performs musical styles from the Renaissance through the 21st century on trumpet, horn and trombone.