UGA School of Music piano faculty member celebrates album release with solo recital

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Liza Stepanova, assistant professor of piano at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, will perform a solo recital in Ramsey Concert Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m.

The concert celebrates the release of Stepanova's first solo album on CAG Records later this month. The title of the recording is "Tones & Colors." It is dedicated to the multitude of mutually inspiring connections between visual art and music. 

The program is divided into four sets, similar to visual art exhibition rooms. The first, a Spanish set, features sun-filled works by Enrique Granados and Joaquin Turina alongside related art by Francisco Goya and Diego Velázquez. 

A "Nature" set includes two impressionistic works by Claude Debussy and Bohuslav Martinu as well as a unique husband and wife collaboration between composer Fanny Hensel (Felix Mendelssohn's sister) and her husband, the painter Wilhelm Hensel. 

The third set explores the influence of Johann Sebastian Bach reaching out across time to 20th-century musicians and visual artists. The centerpiece of the last set is Wagner's monumental Overture to "Tannhäuser" (in the Liszt transcription) which inspired numerous French painters after its premiere in Paris. 

Images of the art will be projected during the performance, and Stepanova will speak about the connections. 

“This project has been very long in the making,” said Stepanova. “In the process, I have made inspiring connections with colleagues in the art world, especially in Europe.” 

Indeed, program notes and art used in the album originated from all across Europe, including the Claude Debussy Museum which resides in the home where the composer was born.

This Athens performance will be one of many to come for Stepanova.

“This concert is part of a release tour which has so far included concerts in Atlanta and Minneapolis,” said Stepanova. “I am very excited to finally share the result with audiences.”

This performance is presented admission-free, and those unable to attend can watch the concert live on the Hodgson School’s website: music.uga.edu/streaming.

The Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia sponsors more than 350 performances each year. Go to music.uga.edu to view the school’s performance calendar, subscribe to the weekly email newsletter, and learn more about the School of Music.