Samuel Holland

Joaquín Achúcarro to present rare solo concert Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, in SMU’s Caruth Auditorium

Joaquin Achucarro 300pxThe Distinguished Performer Concert Series opens its 2017-18 season with a rare solo recital by world-renowned concert pianist, recording artist and Joel Estes Tate Professor Joaquín Achúcarro. The concert is dedicated to the memory of Jeanne Roach Johnson ’54, longtime friend of Meadows School of the Arts.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Admission is $14 for adults, $11 for seniors, and $8 for SMU students, faculty and staff. Tickets are available from the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS), or online: bit.ly/AchucarroConcert.

The all-Chopin concert will feature six works by the 19th-century Romantic composer, including his Prelude, Op. 45 in C-sharp minor; Fantasia Impromptu; Nocturne, Op. Posth. in C-sharp minor; Barcarolle, Op. 60; Polonaise, Op. 53 in A-flat major; and, after an intermission, 24 Preludes, Op. 28. Following the concert, Achúcarro will fly to London to record these Chopin works for a new CD.

> In Memoriam: Dallas civic leader, SMU benefactor Jeanne Roach Johnson

The late Jeanne Roach Johnson (1932-2017) – Dallas civic leader, investor and philanthropist – was a longtime supporter of SMU and of the Meadows School. A lifelong music lover, she gave several major gifts to establish endowment funds and initiatives for Meadows piano programs.

“Whether they know it or not, Jeanne Johnson’s legacy of philanthropy at the Meadows School has touched virtually every single music student for the last 20 years,” said Meadows Dean Samuel Holland. “The impact of her giving included a complete renovation of the music practice room complex, new and refurbished Steinway pianos, and scholarships for deserving students – not to mention a major gift to the National Center for Arts Research.

“Over many years, in part because of her love for the piano, Jeanne and our distinguished artist-in-residence, Joaquín Achúcarro, developed a warm and wonderful relationship. Jeanne was seen at virtually every piano event at the Meadows School and eagerly followed the careers of Joaquín’s students and alumni. I can’t imagine a more fitting tribute for this great lady than for Achúcarro to dedicate this recital – of repertoire Jeanne particularly loved – to her memory and her legacy.”

In October 2015, the French magazine Diapason selected Achúcarro’s BMG-RCA recording of Bernard Herrmann’s Concerto Macabre for Piano and Orchestra with London’s National Philharmonic Orchestra as one of “The Best 100 Piano Recordings of All Time,” along with such legends as Rachmaninoff, Horowitz and Rubinstein. He has even had a planet named after him: The International Astronomical Union christened the miniplanet 22191 “Achúcarro” in his honor.

Since winning the 1959 Liverpool International Competition, Achúcarro has toured 61 countries and played in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Berlin Philharmonie, Royal Albert Hall and Sydney Opera House. He has performed with more than 200 major orchestras, from the New York, Los Angeles and London Philharmonics to La Scala of Milan and the Tokyo Symphony. He has also played with more than 350 conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Seiji Ozawa and Sir Simon Rattle.

He has also received the highest honors in the arts bestowed in his native Spain: the Gold Medal of Fine Arts, The National Award for Music and the Great Cross of Civil Merit.

> Read the full story at the SMU Meadows homepage

Meadows Museum curator solves mystery of the Spanish masterworks

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK7T2oJg5UM[/youtube]SMU’s Meadows Museum has concluded a lengthy investigation into the true identity and postwar provenance of two of the most famous paintings in its collection – masterworks that had been seized by the Nazis during World War II.

With the help of a series of serendipitous discoveries and six years of relentless detective work by curator Nicole Atzbach, the Museum now has definitive evidence to prove that Saint Justa and Saint Rufina by Spanish master Bartolomé Esteban Murillo had in fact been lawfully restituted to the Rothschild family following the war, long before their 1972 sale to the Museum.
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Vincent Gover becomes first SMU Student Composer-in-Residence

Vincent GoverENVISO (formerly the Irving Symphony) and the Division of Music in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts have launched a unique partnership in which a Meadows music composition student will be selected to serve each year as a composer-in-residence with the region’s only boutique professional symphony orchestra.

The new initiative is called the William H. Lively SMU Student Composer-in-Residence Program in honor of Bill Lively (’65), former CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and current vice chancellor of strategic partnerships for the University of North Texas System.

“ENVISO’s unique partnership with SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, resulting in the creation of the Student Composer-in-Residence Program, is an extraordinary example of collaborative planning,” said Lively. ‘The program will support and celebrate young musicians who aspire to be among the next generation of American composers.”

“To our knowledge, this is the first such program of its kind between an orchestra and a university music department,” said Tracy Boyd, president of ENVISO.

The first student selected for the residency is sophomore Vince Gover (left). ENVISO will perform the world premiere of Gover’s Let Us Begin Anew… (titled with a quote from John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech) in a concert commemorating the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s presidential inauguration. The event begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, in the Irving Arts Center. Lively will introduce the celebration of Kennedy’s life, presidency and legacy, which will include archival video footage.

Though still an undergraduate, Gover has already received recognition for his compositions. In January, his work Children’s Suite was performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., by the Saxony-Anhalt Brass Quintet, an ensemble of principal performers from German orchestras. The quintet chose Gover’s work for their U.S. tour after discovering it through Gover’s high school music teacher. In addition, Gover’s Minute Fanfare was performed by the Meadows Wind Ensemble at its October concert at SMU.

“We are very excited about this new collaboration,” said Samuel Holland, director of the Meadows School Division of Music. “Our composition students have an opportunity to work with a professional orchestra and gain performance experience that will be invaluable to them in their careers.”

> Read more about the Lively SMU Student Composer-in-Residence Program from SMU News
> Buy tickets online for ENVISO’s JFK commemorative concert at Carpenter Performance Hall