Hodgson School professor emeritus explores “Music of Love and Loss”

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Richard Zimdars, professor emeritus of piano at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, will join with frequent collaborator Lawrence Bakst, tenor, to explore works from Liszt, Mahler and Karol Szymanowski in a program titled “Music of Love and Loss” in Ramsey Concert Hall on Tuesday, March 14, at 8 p.m.

The music on the program “relates directly and indirectly to love and loss,” according to Zimdars. 

“Liszt’s settings of three of Petrarch’s sonnets to his idealized muse, Laura, give the singer long arching melodies similar to the style of Verdi, accompanying them with elegant piano writing,” said Zimdars.

Liszt isn’t the only composer on the program whose work is informed by an author. Mahler’s “Four Rückert Songs” come from the works of German poet Friedrich Rückert.

“The Mahler songs use Rückert texts dealing with nature, artistic creation, withdrawal from the world, and turning one’s fate over to God,” said Zimdars.

Even Szymanowski’s work was inspired by famous literature.

“Szymanowski’s solo piano piece ‘Scheherazade’ depicts the famous character from the ‘Arabian Nights,’” said Zimdars. “She needed to spin a new tale each evening to prevent the loss of her own life at the hands of a merciless king.”

Richard Zimdars retired in 2015 after a forty-year teaching career, the last thirty-one at UGA. He has performed, lectured, and given master classes in Europe, South America, Canada, and the United States. His most recent CD, “Piano Character Pieces from Four Continents,” was released on Albany Records in April 2015.

The career of tenor Lawrence Bakst was launched when he was named, along with baritone Thomas Hampson, as a finalist in the 1981 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Bakst sang in European opera houses for over twenty-five years, performing roles such as Calaf in Puccini's “Turandot” and the title roles in Wagner's “Siegfried” and “Tannhäuser.”

This concert is free to attend.

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, and to learn more about the School of Music, go to music.uga.edu.