Concert pianist returns to host master class, free concert

Pierce Emata will offer a free master piano class and concert at SUU Monday, February 27. Undated | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — The Department of Music at Southern Utah University will host pianist Pierce Emata in a free performance Monday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the Thorley Recital Hall.

“I’m delighted to be returning to SUU to perform an eclectic program that ranges from Chopin to George Gershwin, and the Utah premiere of a piece by Cuban-American composer Michael Colina, written in 2001,” said Emata, who last performed at SUU in 1992. “This program consists of pieces that I feel a close affinity to, and enjoy sharing with audiences.”

Emata will also be teaching a master class from 2 to 4 p.m. that same day. Both the master class and concert are free and open to the public. Audience members will be treated to works by Frédéric Chopin, Claude Debussy and George Gershwin.

Emata earned his bachelor and master degrees from Indiana University and coached with international concert pianists Alfonso Montecino, John Ogdon and Gyorgy Sebok. He has also coached with Istvan Nadas, as well as John Simms of the University of Iowa.

Emata is currently living in Las Vegas and is a member of the summer piano faculty at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. This international arts camp serves 2,700 students from over 50 countries each year.

It is really cool to have guest artists on campus, especially with the master classes, because you can actually see them apply what they teach,” Angie Hanks, a sophomore music education major, said.

As a recipient of artist project grants and fellowships from the Indiana and Nevada arts commissions for his work in performing, recording and composition, Emata gives back to the surrounding communities.

His series of informal commentary concerts, trademarked and titled “Concerts & Conversation,” has been widely presented throughout the Midwest and western United States with broadcasts on NPR affiliates in Washington, Idaho and South Dakota.

Event details

  • What: Master piano class and concert by pianist Pierce Emata.
  • When: Monday, Feb. 27, class at 2 p.m., concert at 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Thorley Recital Hall, Southern Utah University, 351 W. University Boulevard, Cedar City.
  • Cost: Free. Both events are open to the public.

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