The Texas Tech University School of Music will host a faculty piano recital featuring professor William Westney at 4:00 p.m. this Sunday (Nov. 19) in Hemmle Recital Hall.
Westney’s program on Sunday afternoon will feature two mature sonatas by towering composers for the piano – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Frédéric Chopin. Mozart’s Sonata No. 17, K. 570 is pure, sunny, deceptively simple, and full of delightful musical witticisms. Chopin’s colossal and elegant Sonata No. 3, Op. 58 takes the form in another direction, and offers sweeping, majestic passion. A sonorous arrangement of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude in G Minor, BWV 535 by Russian composer Alexander Siloti will open the performance. Rounding out the program are three colorfully evocative Preludes by Claude Debussy: “Gazing at the moonlight from the terrace,” “Puck’s dance,” and “What the West Wind saw.”
Westney was the top piano prizewinner of the Geneva International Competition, and he appeared thereafter as soloist with such major orchestras as l'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Houston, San Antonio and New Haven Symphonies. Westney holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queens College in New York and a Masters and Doctorate in performance from Yale University, all with highest honors. During Fulbright study in Italy he was the only American winner in auditions held by Radiotelevisione Italiana. He has given solo recitals on four continents, including appearances at New York's Lincoln Center, the National Gallery and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., St. John's Smith Square in London, University of Chile (Santiago), and a U.S. State Department tour of Italy. His playing has been described by reviewers as “riveting” (N.Y. Post) and “refreshing” (Straits Times, Singapore). Critics have praised his recordings for CRI and Musical Heritage Society, and Newsweek magazine selected his CRI album of Leo Ornstein's works as one of its "Ten Best American Music Recordings" of the year.
An internationally noted educator, Westney holds two endowed positions at Texas Tech University – Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Piano and Eva Browning Artist-in-Residence – and has received the university’s highest honor for education, the Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching Award. He won a grant from the U.S. State Department's Fulbright "Senior Specialist" program (Council for International Exchange of Scholars), to teach throughout Korea and China in 2006. As an interdisciplinary scholar, he was appointed the Hans Christian Andersen Guest Professorship at the University of Southern Denmark (Odense) and appeared throughout the Nordic area during the 2009-10 academic year, giving recitals in the U.K., Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and Norway.
The recital is free and open to the public.
For more information about Westney, please visit his website at www.williamwestney.com.