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Quick Center to host two pianists

Published 6:45 pm, Thursday, February 14, 2013

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  • Jonathan Coombs Photo: Contributed Photo
    Jonathan Coombs Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts will present a performance by pianists Jonathan Coombs and Igor Lovchinsky at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, at the center, 1073 N. Benson Road. It was originally scheduled for early November, but was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy.

The program, titled "Reflections of Walter Piston," is part of the center's Young Artists Series and will feature commentary by Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz and compositions by Piston, a 20th-century composer and teacher.

Stecher and Horowitz are duo-pianists and music educators to whom Piston dedicated his "Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra," later transcribed in a second version for two pianos soli. The work is included in a program that features the complete piano repertoire of Piston, as well as a work by his colleague Aaron Copland, "El Salon Mexico," transcribed by Piston's student, Leonard Bernstein.

Coombs, who began his musical studies at 3, made his orchestral debut at 11 and at 15 received the Guimar Novaes Award, given by the Brazilian Ambassador to a young U.S. citizen for accomplishments in fine arts. Coombs has garnered many honors, including second prize in the solo category and sharing first prize in the one-piano, four-hands ensemble competition at the 2002 Inaugural New York International Piano Competition under the auspices of the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation.

Coombs received both his bachelor of music and master of music degrees from the Juilliard School and combines his concert career with a position as assistant to the directors of the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation.

Lovchinsky is a multifaceted performer whose programs often combine the classical repertoire with jazz, and he is an avid exponent of new music. Born in Kazan, Russia, in 1984, he began playing the piano at 2, according to a news release.

In 1989, Lovchinsky entered the Kazan Special Music School for Gifted Children and, after coming to the United States in 1994, garnered first prizes at the Eastman International Piano Competition and the National Chopin Piano Competition of the Kosciuszko Foundation. He was a finalist at the 2002 Inaugural New York Piano Competition.

Lovchinsky has a bachelor's degree from the Juilliard School and a master's degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston.

In addition to music, he is a student of physics at Harvard University.

The program features Melvin Stecher's "Improvisation" (1945); "Passacaglia" (1943); "Sonata for Piano" (1926); "Concerto for Two Piano Soli" (1967); and "El Salon Mexico."

Admission is free and open to the public.

For more information, call 203-254-4010 or visit www.quickcenter.com.