Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Concerts celebrate African-American History Month
The Department of Music, Theatre and Dance presents two concerts in February as part of Oakland University’s African-American Celebration. Lettie Alston and Friends will perform a concert of works by African and African-American composers William Albright, Lettie Alston, Benjamin Arthus, David Baker, Homer Grunn, Mozart Camargo Guarnieri, William Grant Still and George Walker. The second concert features Jamaican-British pianist Maxine Franklin, who will perform dynamic solo piano works featuring music by Africa and the African Diaspora.
The Lettie Alston and Friends concert is Saturday, Feb. 4, at in Varner Recital Hall and costs $15 for the general public and $8 for students and seniors. The Maxine Franklin concert is Wednesday, Feb. 8, at in Varner Recital Hall and admission is free.
Artists performing at the Lettie Alston and Friends concert include university faculty and local and international artists, including Lettie Alston, pianist and composer; Candace deLatrre, contralto; Maxine Franklin, pianist; Velda Kelly, violinist; Angelina Pashmakov, pianist; Charsie Sawyer, soprano; Flavio Varani, pianist; Jackqui Bess and Bibianne Yu, duo pianists; and Stanley Zydek, pianist/organist.
Jamaican-British pianist Maxine Franklin has received acclaim for her sensitivity as an artist and her individuality and authority as a performer. She brings a committed approach to interpretations of music from Bach to Prokofiev and beyond. More recently, her focus has been on the piano music of composers from Africa and the African Diaspora. Born into a musical family in Kingston, Jamaica, Franklin started the piano at the age of 5. By her early teens, she had given piano recitals, broadcasts and performed Mozart’s D minor Concerto K.466 with an orchestra. She continued her studies in London with a Jamaican Government Scholarship at the Royal College of Music and later as a pupil of the distinguished Hungarian pianist and teacher, Ilona Kabos.
Franklin was a prizewinner and finalist in the International Piano competition in Bolzano, Italy, and Rio de Janeiro, respectively, and received a certificate of honour in the BBC Mozart Piano Competition in Wales. Her debut at the Wigmore Hall received enthusiastic reviews, and further performances at the South Bank Centre drew highly favorable notices, praising her authority and individuality as an interpreter over a wide range of piano music. She has given solo recitals, broadcasts and television appearances in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world, including Germany, Italy, Poland, Latin America, the West Indies, Nigeria and the United States.
For more information on these concerts, please call the Varner Box Office at (248) 370-3013 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.