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Ithaca College's School of Music Offers Five Fall Concerts for Lovers of Chopin

ITHACA, NY — Born in 1810, Frédéric Chopin only lived to age 39; despite such a short life, he wrote some of the world’s most loved piano music. To celebrate the bicentennial of Chopin’s birth, the Ithaca College School of Music will kick off “2010 Chopin Festival,” a five-concert series of piano performances, on Tuesday, Sept. 7. Featuring faculty and student pianists, the concerts will take place on Tuesday evenings throughout the fall. Free and open to the public, the performances will begin at 8:15 p.m. in the Hockett Family Recital Hall in the Whalen Center.

“Each of the five concerts has a specific title, presenting Chopin’s works in a different context,” said Jennifer Hayghe, associate professor of music performance and one of the faculty pianists. ‘Chopin the Revolutionary’ explores Chopin’s new use of old forms to provide a romantic narrative in each piece of music. ‘Chopin the Dreamer’ includes works composed as fantasies and nocturnal wanderings. ‘Chopin the Classicist’ presents works in older ‘classical’ forms that sound anything but classical.

‘Chopin the Dancer,’ Hayghe added, contains some of Chopin’s most popular works — waltzes, mazurkas and polonaises. The final concert, ‘Chopin the Poet,’ is built around his set of 24 preludes. In summing up the last concert, Hayghe quoted Chopin’s contemporary Franz Liszt, another great composer-pianist of the 19th century, who said, “Chopin’s Preludes are compositions of an order entirely apart. . . . They are poetic preludes, analogous to those of a great contemporary poet, who cradles the soul in golden dreams.”

The concert schedule is listed below.

Tuesday, Sept. 7
“Chopin the Revolutionary”

Faculty pianists Charis Dimaras and Jennifer Hayghe and student pianists John Wysocki, Sean Cotty, Elizabeth Leger, Erik Correll and Scott Gentile will perform a selection of ballades, etudes and sonatas.

Tuesday, Sept. 28
“Chopin the Dreamer”

Faculty pianists Nathan Hess and Jennifer Hayghe, and student pianists Kelly McKee, Sean Cotty, Sarah Fears, Natalie Khatibzadeh and Scott Gentile will perform a selection of nocturnes and fantasies.

Tuesday, Oct. 19
“Chopin the Classicist?”

Faculty pianist Jennifer Hayghe and student pianists Michael Gaertner, Elizabeth Leger, John Wysocki will perform four scherzos and a sonata that, though they represent older forms, sound anything but classical.

Tuesday, Nov. 9
“Chopin the Dancer”

Faculty pianists Nathan Hess, Deborah Martin and Diane Birr, and student pianists Taylor Aretz, Rachel Fannick, Jean Elder, and Kelly McKee will perform a selection of Chopin’s most popular works, including the “Minute Waltz” (Waltz in D-Flat Major, op. 64, no. 1) and the “Heroic Polonaise” (Polonaise in A-Flat Major, op. 53).

Tuesday, Nov. 30
“Chopin the Poet”

Faculty pianists Nathan Hess and Charis Dimaras, and student pianists Natalie Khatibzadeh, Erik Correll and Gina Fortunato will perform a selection built around Chopin’s 24 Preludes, which demonstrate works unlike much of Chopin’s other compositions.

For more information on “2010 Chopin Festival,” contact Erik Kibelsbeck in the School of Music at or (607) 274-3717.