Returning pianist adds humor, style to July 2 concert

A concert pianist, renowned throughout the United States for his performances as a soloist and chamber musician, will return to Washington State University to perform a variety of forgotten styles in an evening sponsored by the School of Music and Theatre Arts.

Dr. Wayne Johnson, concert pianist and professor at Seattle Pacific University, will perform his program “Piano In the Parlor – Forgotten Masterpieces and Neglected Gems from the #Golden Age# of the Piano” at Kimbrough Concert Hall at 8 p.m., July 2. The event is free and open to the public.

The solo recital will include original transcriptions and arrangements by major composers like Mendelssohn, Liszt and Schubert. There also will be a number of pieces by more unknown composers like Fibich, Reinhold, Nazareth and Gottschalk.

Johnson will also perform John Phillip Sousa#s “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

In addition to his virtuoso performance, Johnson will discuss each number with the audience and offer some funny anecdotes.

“He has quite a sense of humor,” said Dr. Gerald Berthiaume, faculty member at the WSU School of Music and Theatre Arts. “He has such a relaxed and easy nature – not like your aloof artists.”

Besides his performances in the United States, Johnson has performed in Canada, Europe and Latin America and was a concert pianist for the U.S. Army from 1970-1973. He also was a pianist for Quartet Seattle, a premier regional chamber ensemble, from 1984-1990. Johnson has been a professor of music at Seattle Pacific University since 1978.

He has established himself as the leading authority in the piano music of Alan Hovhaness and recorded a compact disc of the pianist#s works in 1992.

Berthiaume is enthusiastic about the upcoming concert and encourages the public to attend. “His performances are more than entertainment,” he said. “It#s what entertainment should be.”

Johnson#s visit coincides with WSU#s annual Summer Keyboard Explorations camp, where he will offer camp-goers advice through a talk “Practical Practicing Procedures.”

For more information about the event, contact the School of Music and Theatre Arts at 335-3898.


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