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:

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


SMU honors 2013 DAA Award, Emerging Leader winners Oct. 24

Brittany Merrill Underwood
Brittany Merrill Underwood ’07 will receive the Emerging Leader Award at SMU’s 2013 DAA Awards ceremony Oct. 24.

SMU will honor four leaders in philanthropy, business and civic life with the highest honor the University can bestow upon its graduates. The 2013 Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner and ceremony begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24 on the Main Quad.

The 2013 Distinguished Alumni are business leader Joseph M. “Jody” Grant ’60, investor Jeanne Roach Johnson ’54, and community leader Peggy Higgins Sewell ’72.

Brittany Merrill Underwood ’07, founder of the Akola Project and the Ugandan American Partnership Organization and an international advocate for women and children, will receive the University’s Emerging Leader Award. The honor recognizes the outstanding achievements of an alumnus or alumna who has graduated in the last 15 years.

> Read more about SMU’s 2013 Distinguished Alumni and Emerging Leader

During the ceremony, past DAA recipients will be honored as Centennial History Makers as part of SMU’s ongoing Second Century Celebration. Those whose accomplishments will be recognized include:

  • Michael M. Boone ’63, ’67
  • Laura Welch Bush ’68
  • Kirbyjon H. Caldwell ’81
  • Larry R. Faulkner ’66
  • Gerald J. Ford ’66, ’69
  • Terrybeth N. Ford ’74
  • Linda Harris Gibbons ’58
  • Alvis Forrest Gregg ’56
  • Robert W. Haley ’67
  • Mona Sheinfeld Hersh-Cochran ’64,’66
  • Ward L. Huey, Jr. ’60
  • Walter J. Humann ’67
  • William E. Joyce ’81
  • Christine Ann Loock ’76
  • John Lopez, III ’74
  • Thomas W. Luce, III ’62, ’66
  • Bobby B. Lyle ’67
  • James C. McCormick ’49 †
  • J. Barry McKernan ’65
  • Harriet E. Miers ’67, ’70
  • John J. Nance ’68, ’69
  • Benjamin R. Oliphint ’44 †
  • Cecil B. Phillips ’49
  • Richard W. Quick ’65, ’77 †
  • George T. Reynolds, III ’57
  • William C. Roberts ’54
  • Karen Livesay Shuford ’70
  • Charles Robert (Bob) Smith ’44 †
  • Aaron Spelling ’49 †
  • William B. Stallcup, Jr. ’41 †
  • H. Leighton Steward ’57, ’59
  • William Payne Stewart ’79 †
  • Regina A. Taylor ’81
  • James Cleo Thompson, Jr. ’52 †
  • Charles H. Trigg ’29 †
  • Mary Katherine (Kitty) Hughes Trigg ’31 †
  • Garry A. Weber ’58
  • Ewing Werlein, Jr. ’58
  • Martha Hess Whitehead ’62
  • Myra Nicol Williams ’63

William Allen Melton will receive the Mustang Award for Service.

For more information, visit SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Awards homepage or call 214-768-4468.

Read more about this year’s DAA honorees from SMU News
Find a list of past DAA recipients at the SMU Alumni site