The 14th annual Esther C. Olin Lecture Recital on Piano, “Off the Beaten Path: Lesser-known Works and Composers,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 25. The virtual event will be livestreamed on YouTube.
The annual concert honors the contributions of Olin, a longtime adjunct professor of piano and music composition at Lynchburg. In past years, it has focused on the work of well-known composers — Frédéric Chopin, Antonín Dvořák, Edvard Grieg, and others.
This year, the music faculty wanted to go in a different direction, focusing on composers who might not be household names. “I started thinking of groups of individuals that are underrepresented [in] traditional western music,” Jeremy Craft ’12 MEd, ’16 MA, said. “I thought that it would be an interesting door to open to our public.”
Personally, Craft started thinking about Black, female composers, including the late Betty Jackson King. At the lecture/recital, Craft will perform “Four Seasonal Sketches” by King. He’ll also talk about the practical matters of performing and teaching the piece.
“As I have been learning this piece, there are a lot of very large, wide chords, so I have to really stretch the distance from my thumb to pinky … to be able to pay all those notes,” Craft said. “In some cases, [I have] to contort my hand in odd ways I didn’t have to do before.
“Anybody who’s going to play this piece would have to have fairly large hands or they literally could not play it.”
The event also will include the following lectures and performances: Dr. Cynthia B. Ramsey and Dr. F. Johnson Scott III, “Four Pictures” by Edward Gregson; Scott, “Three Score Set” by William Schuman; Ramsey, selections from “A Century of Inventions” by Maurice Hinson; and Noémi Lee, “Nine Pieces, Op. 3-VII” by Zoltán Kodály, and “Pavane” by George Enescu.
For more information, email Melissa Brooks at email@example.com.