OSWEGO – International-award-winning pianist Robert Auler, professor and chair of music at SUNY Oswego, will present a Focus on Faculty concert of classical works at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24, in the college’s Sheldon Hall ballroom.
“The ability to present piano masterworks in a public setting, while at the same time inviting students into the process is one of the things I love the most about this job,” Auler said.
Auler said the program and presentation should appeal to music fans of all ages.
“I’ve designed this concert to be extremely audience-friendly, and yet to feature four important views of our pianistic history, from the time of Beethoven to the (almost) present,” Auler said. “It’s very kid-friendly as well; the running time is just about an hour, I’ll talk and explain from stage, and my daughters — who are piano students themselves — will be there.”
The concert will open with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata in Eb Major, Op. 81a, which “is one of my very favorite compositions,” Auler said. “He, maybe more than any other composer, can take the smallest kernel of an idea and expand it into something masterful.”
The Allegro de Concierto by Enrique Granados, “a showpiece of the highest order,” will follow, Auler said. “It contains virtuosic displays for the pianist coupled with really beautiful melody lines. It’s another one of my absolute favorites!”
Up next, Adagio from Piano Concerto in G Major by Maurice Ravel is a reworking from a piano concerto movement. “Here, the arranger deftly weaves what would have been oboe, bassoon, clarinet and string lines into the piano fabric,” Auler noted. “A truly beautiful piece.”
Rounding out the program is “Soulless Chastity,” by Auler’s friend Mark Olivieri, who teaches at Hobart and William Smith. “Audiences love his use of vernacular elements such as jazz, blues and rock,” Auler said.
“One of the things I’ve loved most about my time here at Oswego has been the ability to combine creative expression with mentorship for a studio of young pianists and musicians,” Auler said. “As a practitioner, I’m able to empathize, rather than sympathize with what the young pianists are going through as performers.”
Tickets are $8 for the general public, and $5 for SUNY Oswego students, available at tickets.oswego.edu, any campus box office or by calling 315-312-3073.
For more information on the concert or the college’s music program, visit www.oswego.edu/music or call 315-312-2130.