Kent Keyboard Series Kicks Off Its 2017-2018 Season With Pianist Cahill Smith

Ludwig Recital Hall

The Kent Keyboard Series opens its 2017-2018 season with pianist Cahill Smith on Sunday, Oct. 15, at 5 p.m. in Ludwig Recital Hall. Now in its 16th year, the Kent Keyboard Series has hosted an impressive roster of guest pianists from around the country, including Eduardus Halim, Peter Takács and Sandra Shapiro, along with Kent State University faculty members Jerry Wong and Donna Lee. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 330-672-2787 (ARTS) or at Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and Kent State faculty; $10 for groups of 10 or more, and $8 for non-Kent State students and Kent State students ineligible for the Fee for Free. Tickets are free for full-time Kent Campus undergraduate students and those under 18. Ludwig Recital Hall is located in the Center for the Performing Arts at 1325 Theatre Drive in Kent. Ample, free parking is available.Cahill Smith

In his first appearance at Kent State, Smith will open with Beethoven’s complex Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28. Audience members will then be treated to the second book of Debussy’s imagination-stirring Images. After a brief intermission, Smith will present Russian composer and pianist Nikolai Medtner’s Forgotten Melodies Book 2, Op. 39. A younger contemporary of Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alexander Scriabin, Medtner has rapidly become known as one of the most significant composers of Russian piano music.

Born and raised in rural Alabama, Smith began playing piano at age 10, and six years later he made his orchestral debut. He has since gone on to give recitals in major venues in the United States and abroad, including three programs at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. In addition to his extensive solo recital work, Smith has been featured as a concerto soloist with orchestras, both in the United States and abroad. He also has become a leading champion of Russian composer Nikolai Medtner’s music, having performed an all-Medtner program for his 2013 Carnegie Hall debut. Of a later performance at Carnegie Hall in 2015, the New York Concert Review remarked that Smith revealed “every twist and turn … with beautiful shimmering colors” while performing the music of Medtner.

Smith, a Yamaha Artist, completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Eastman School of Music in 2014, where he served as the teaching assistant to Natalya Antonova. At Eastman, Smith was the inaugural recipient of the Douglas Lowry award for excellence in degree recital performance. Currently, he serves on the piano faculty at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, where he also serves as artistic director for the Lee University International Piano Festival and Competition in the summer. He is an active lecturer, competition juror and masterclass presenter.

Tickets also will be available at the door the day of the performance.

The 2017-2018 Season

  • Sunday, Nov. 12, 5 p.m., featuring Jerry Wong, Kent State faculty and Steinway Artist
  • Sunday, Jan. 28, 5 p.m., featuring Read Gainsford, guest artist
  • Sunday, Feb. 25, 5 p.m., featuring Donna Lee, Kent State faculty and Steinway Artist
  • Sunday, April 22, 5 p.m., featuring Logan Skelton, guest artist

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