Partain to play in unconventional space

by Alicia Reinersman
Staff Writer

Professor of Music Dr. Gregory Partain will be performing in the Morlan Gallery on Nov. 12 and 13

Transylvania University’s Morlan Gallery exhibits a wide, ever-changing array of art from around the globe. For the first time, the gallery will also be hosting the musical stylings of Dr. Gregory Partain. Entitled “Tempest in the Gallery,” Partain’s recital repertoire will consist of compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven and Frederic Chopin.

The first half of Partain’s performance will be dedicated to works by Beethoven, featuring the “Tempest” sonata. According to Partain, the “Tempest” is one of Beethoven’s most popular and famous pieces.

“(It’s) very soul-searching — sometimes violent and sometimes lyrical,” Partain said.

Beethoven has been a musical inspiration for Partain since childhood.

“Beethoven is the composer that continually comes back and draws me. I almost quit (playing piano) when I was in fifth grade, but the introduction to Beethoven is what saved me,” said Partain.

Partain is also drawn to the compositions of Chopin and will include five of his works in the second segment of the recital.

“It’s hard for a pianist not to love Chopin because, more than any other composer, he makes the instrument come alive,” Partain said.

Also, Partain wishes to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Chopin’s death in 1911.

“Many musicians around the world are (honoring him) by playing a lot of his pieces,” said Partain.

The Morlan Gallery is a desirable venue for this recital due to its small size, according to Partain.

“A lot of the music that most pianists play — 19th-century music — is designed to be performed in intimate settings, not the big, impersonal concert halls,” Partain said.

“Tempest in the Gallery” will be held in concurrence with today’s opening exhibit, “Beyond Boundaries” by Nana Lampton.

“Beyond Boundaries” displays Lampton’s newest paintings, watercolors and sketchbooks, according Andrea Fisher, the gallery’s director. Lampton’s work comprises rugged landscapes and river scenes from across the western hemisphere.
Partain chose his repertoire before “Beyond Boundaries” was announced. However, he said, Beethoven was “always a traveler of interior locations — a traveler of the mind.”

“We’re not deliberately trying to make connections (to the artwork) that aren’t there. However, it’s nice to have a concert in an art gallery where you can not only hear beautiful music, but also get the visual stimulation,” said Fisher. “Greg always wanted to play a concert in here, so we thought we’d just go for it.”

But don’t feel that you have to be well versed in piano-playing for the concert to be worthwhile.

“(This event is) going to be a very nice introduction to the whole phenomenon of the piano recital,” said Partain.
“I think that every recital is an opportunity for the audience and the performer to experience some moments of magic.”

The opening of “Beyond Boundaries” is tonight from 6:30 to 8 in Morlan Gallery. The show runs through Dec. 6 and is free for the public to attend.

“Tempest in the Gallery” will be held in Morlan Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 13 at 3 p.m.
The seating for this event is limited due to the small venue size. To obtain tickets, contact Andrea Fisher at 859-233-8142.


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