Thursday Scholarship Series concert celebrates piano dynamism with ‘extravaganza’

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Five piano faculty members, 20 piano students and 440 keys will fill the Hodgson Concert Hall stage when the Thursday Scholarship Series brings the Hugh Hodgson School of Music Piano Extravaganza to life on Thursday, February 9, at 7:30 p.m.

An historic assemblage of talent for the Hodgson School—Georgia’s first All-Steinway school—the Piano Extravaganza brings together the School’s entire piano department and nearly all of its students to perform some of the instrument’s most unique, challenging and entertaining works.

The music of their program spans an array of styles, from virtuosic classics like “Flight of the Bumblebee” to ragtime interpretations of Mozart, a “One Handed Battle” section infused with Latin American rhythms, and one part of the concert that might just have an audience member making music.

“Five grand pianos on one stage, 50 fingers playing at once, covering 440 keys, audience participation, A ‘battle of the hands:’ what else could possibly be more fun?” said Pete Jutras, professor of piano.

Jutras is part of the Hodgson School’s internationally renowned faculty, which includes Evgeny Rivkin, professor of piano; Liza Stepanova, assistant professor of piano; Martha Thomas, Despy Karlas Professor of Piano; and Richard Zimdars, Despy Karlas Professor Emeritus of Piano.

Their students—from as near as Athens and Monroe and as far as Moscow and Seoul—have garnered considerable acclaim themselves, including the Dunamis Piano Duo, which was founded in spring 2015 and has since been honored in numerous international competitions and played Carnegie Hall this May.

Tickets to the concert are $20 each or $6 with a UGA student ID and can be purchased at pac.uga.edu or the PAC box office. Those unable to attend can watch the concert live on the Hodgson School’s website: music.uga.edu/streaming.

The Thursday Scholarship Series began in 1980 and continues the tradition of “Music Appreciation Programs” started by Hugh Hodgson in the 1930s. Proceeds from contributions and ticket sales to these concerts are among the primary means through which School of Music scholarship funds are raised each year.

The UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music sponsors more than 350 performances each year. To view the performance calendar, subscribe to the weekly email concert listing or learn more about the School of Music, go to music.uga.edu.