The College of Southern Maryland announces the beginning of the Ward Virts Concert Series and presents classical pianist, Brian Ganz at 3 p.m., Oct. 10 at the Prince Frederick Campus, Room 119. Ganzs performance is the first of six in the concert series, which is held at CSMs Prince Frederick Campus, 115 Williams Road, Prince Frederick.
Ganz is a graduate of the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University and has appeared as a soloist with such orchestras as the St. Louis Symphony, The St. Petersburg Philharmonic (of Russia), the National Symphony, the National Philharmonic, and the City of London Sinfonia, among others. Gifted as a teacher himself, Ganz is Artist-in-Residence at St. Marys College of Maryland where he has been a member of the piano faculty since 1986.
Ganz is widely regarded as one of the leading pianists of his generation. Washington Post critic Joan Reinthaler has written: One comes away from a recital by pianist Brian Ganz not only exhilarated by the power of performance but also moved by his search for artistic truth.
Some of Ganzs recent concert highlights include performances of Mozarts Piano Concerto in D minor with the Costa Rican National Symphony, Rachmaninoffs Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the National Philharmonic under the baton of Piotr Gajewski, a recital for the Piano Series at Xavier University, and an all-Chopin recital in Washington D.C.s historic Dumbarton Church.
He will begin a multi-year project on Jan. 22, 2011 in partnership with the National Philharmonic in which he will perform the complete works of Frederick Chopin at the Music Center at Strathmore. During his performance at the Prince Frederick Campus he will play various pieces by Ludwig van Beethoven and Chopin.
Ganz says that he is an active explorer of the many ways in which the study and performance of great music can remind us of the Spirit that unites all living things. He has donated numerous performances in benefit concerts and was a founding member of the Washington Chapter of Artists to End Hunger. He resides in Annapolis.
The Ward Virts Concert Series is presented by Edward and Patricia Mehosky, St. Clair and Mary Tweedie, Gerry Van De Velde and Rene Cunningham and CSM. The centerpiece of the concert series is a world-class Boesendorfer Grand Piano, which was gifted to CSM by the Ward Virts Piano Project as a gift to the entire community. The WVPP was formed by friends and classmates of pianist Ward Virts, whose sudden death in 1993 inspired them to purchase this hand-made piano and dedicate the piano to CSM Prince Frederick Campus in Wards memory. Inspired by Ward's life and spirit, his friends and classmates conceived the project in order to bring the love of life, beauty and music that Ward embodied to a new generation of Southern Maryland students, performers and appreciative audiences. Admission is free and seating is open but limited.