Kent State Keyboard Series on Jan. 28 presents the music of Beethoven, Debussy and Liszt

The Kent Keyboard Series continues its 2017-2018 season with pianist Read Gainsford, professor and coordinator of keyboard at Florida State University, on Sun., Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. in Ludwig Recital Hall. Tickets are available through the Performing Arts Box Office in advance in-person, by calling 330-672-2787 (ARTS) or at $15, adults; $13, seniors and Kent State University faculty; $10, groups of 10 or more; $8 non-Kent State students and Kent State students ineligible for the Fee for Free; FREE for full-time Kent Campus undergraduates and those under 18. Ludwig Recital Hall is at 1325 Theatre Drive in the Center for the Performing Arts. Ample free parking is available.

Guest pianist Read Gainsford will present works by Claude Debussy, Franz Liszt and Ludwig van Beethoven. First on the program will be Liszt’s rarely performed “Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude,” taken from his “Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, S. 173.” Audience members will then be treated to Debussy’s technically challenging “Douze Études” for solo piano, a work less frequently performed than his other pieces for the instrument. Concluding the performance will be Beethoven’s Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109. This work is regarded as a masterpiece alongside other works written during the same period such as his “Missa Solemnis” and ninth symphony.

With a career spanning across continents, New Zealand native Read Gainsford is an active recitalist, clinician, interdisciplinary collaborator and teacher. Currently, Gainsford is on the faculty of Florida State University’s College of Music as the coordinator of keyboard. A highly in demand masterclass clinician and teacher, recent appearances include the Chautauqua Institution, Bennington Chamber Music Conference and multiple collegiate piano workshops. Long fascinated by the use of the body in making music, he has studied the Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais Method and yoga, as well as anatomy and physiology. His presentations have included “As We Are Designed: use of the body in playing the piano” and “Music and Faith,” as well as many lecture recitals on music ranging across the scope of the piano repertoire. Formerly, he was on the faculty of Ithaca College where he received the college-wide Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004.

An avid collaborator, he formed Trio Solis, a group dedicated to connecting with people beyond traditional classical music audiences. In addition to concerts and residencies, they enjoy "Building Bridges,” collaborating with talented student musicians to share their experience of making music with younger players. As part of his association with the Garth Newel chamber music center, he has performed with many of today’s leading musicians including the Audubon and Serafin String Quartets as well as Yuri Mazurkevich. Gainsford has also worked with many living composers on a variety of projects including premiering and recording Kubik’s third piano concerto, membership in Ensemble X, and recording Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's “Images” for two pianos and orchestra for Naxos.

Gainsford holds degrees from the University of Auckland and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he was a pupil of the renowned pedagogue Joan Havill. He earned his doctorate at Indiana University under professor Karen Shaw. An active performer, he has appeared widely in the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa as a solo recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician. He has made successful solo debuts in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall, as well as performances in the Kennedy Center, St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Queen Elizabeth Hall. Gainsford returns regularly to his home country of New Zealand to perform, teach and visit family.

2017-2018 Season
Sun., Feb 25, 5 p.m. featuring Donna Lee, Kent State faculty & Steinway Artist
Sun., April 22, 5 p.m. featuring Logan Skelton, guest artist


POSTED: Thursday, January 4, 2018 - 3:02pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, January 9, 2018 - 4:00pm