Contact: Wendel Sloan at 575.562.2253
PORTALES--Eastern New Mexico University in Portales will host a solo performance by guest pianist William Westney at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30 in Buchanan Hall in the Music Building. Dr. Westney holds two endowed faculty positions at Texas Tech University: Eva Browning Artist-in-Residence and Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor of Piano.
The event is free and open to the public.
According to Westney, a major section of the program is devoted to the fiery and mystical Russian composer Alexander Scriabin, including several Preludes and his Sonata #5.
The other "main dish" of Westney's performance is an imposing work by Brahms, his Variations and Fugue on Theme of Handel.
Among the shorter pieces are some Preludes and Fugues by Bach and a piece called "Evocation" by Spanish composer Issac Albeniz.
When asked if there is an underlying theme to this performance, Westney said, "No, but rather just an attempt to balance and contrast the pieces in the same sort of way you might orchestrate a fine dinner."
Westney holds a bachelor's degree from Queens College in New York City and a performance doctorate from the Yale School of Music. He also studied in Italy under a Fulbright grant.
The pianist said the greatest honor during the course of his career has been winning the Geneva International Competition in Switzerland. "Competition is very grueling and to win one like that is such a relief and an encouragement to believe in yourself as an artist," said Westney.
Widely in demand as a workshop leader (the trailblazing "Un-Master Class"), interdisciplinary lecturer, writer and private consultant, he was awarded the prized Certificate of Merit from the Yale School of Music Alumni Association for his innovative work as an artist/teacher, according to his website. Westney has also made his mark as author, having written the bestselling book "The Perfect Wrong Note" (2003).
He said the aspect of his music and teaching he is most proud of is the sense of how communication can be so profound without the use of words.
"There is no special knowledge or background necessary to enjoy a classical concert and feel involved in the experience," said Westney. "Just openness and a readiness to go on a colorful virtual journey in your mind."
For more information, call 575.562.2377.