Internationally recognized pianist Stephen Beus will return to Gainesville to perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, in the Fine Arts Hall at the Northwest Campus of Santa Fe College, 3000 NW 83 Street. His visit is part of the college’s Master Artist series that brings professionals to teach classes and perform for the community.
Tickets are $15 for adults; $9 for seniors, children and University of Florida students; and free for Santa Fe College students, faculty, and staff with college identification cards. For ticket information, call the Box Office at 352-395-4181 or visit the Fine Arts ticket website at:
“We are very fortunate to have booked a return visit by this brilliant young pianist,” said SF College Fine Arts Department Chairperson Alora Haynes. “If you saw Stephen Beus here two years ago, you will know how talented he is. If you didn’t see him then, you must see him now. We’re especially thrilled that he will be playing two duets for four hands with his friend Mitch McKay, who is a music professor here at the college.”
The duets that Beus and McKay will perform, which require two people to play the piano at the same time, are two of the “Slavonic Dances” by Antonin Dvorak. The first half of Beus’s concert will be devoted to pieces that are titled “dance” works.
Beus will also play Franz Liszt’s “Transcendental Etude #3” to accompany a modern dance onstage at the same time. “This piece is one that I once performed to,” Haynes explained, “and I am restaging it to be performed by Sarah Harkness-Sebastian, one of our dance professors.”
Before his concert, Beus will lead a Master Class for SF College keyboard students.
Beus made his Carnegie Hall debut playing Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 3 with the Juilliard Orchestra. In the space of four months in 2006, he won first prize in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, the second largest piano competition in the United States (Salt Lake City); first prize in the Vendome International Piano Competition (Lisbon); and was awarded the Max I. Allen Fellowship of the American Pianists Association (Indianapolis). He has since performed solo and with orchestras throughout the world.
Commenting on his competition success, Fanfare magazine wrote: “In some ways Beus doesn’t fit the mold of the typical competition winner. His playing is strikingly original and, despite his youth, he has an interpretive voice all his own… Above all, his playing is so natural as to seem effortless and the sound he produces has extraordinary richness and depth, not quite like anyone else’s.”
Praise from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was equally bold: “We had just about given up hope that America would ever again produce a great native-born pianist. Then … Stephen Beus stepped onto stage to present a remarkable performance of one of the most beautiful and difficult works in the piano literature, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3….”
The concert by Stephen Beus is sponsored in part by Santa Fe College and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and Visit Gainesville, a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in conjunction with the Alachua County Tourist Development Council.
For more information or photographs, call Santa Fe College Fine Arts Department Chairperson Alora Haynes, 352-395-5296.