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Franco Center season opens with Frank Glazer on Sept. 20

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Frank Glazer Frank Glazer

LEWISTON Legendary concert pianist and teacher Frank Glazer inaugurates the new season of Piano Series concerts at the Franco Center in Lewiston on Friday, Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. with a performance that will feature works by Haydn, Beethoven, Samuel Barber and Liszt.

Now in its eighth season, the Franco Center's Piano Series is unique in New England. Presenting six programs over each season, it offers recitals by world-class artists as well as rising stars in a venue that compares favorably with the finest in the world, acoustically speaking, for classical piano performance.

Audiences at a Frank Glazer recital need make no concession to his age of 98. Following his critically-acclaimed solo debut at New York's Town Hall in 1936, when he was only 21, he launched a career as concert artist and respected teacher, a professional journey interrupted only by World War II and a period of self-study during which he discovered the most efficient way to play, a revelation he credits with allowing him to continue performing into his late 90s. 

Called by some 'an American treasure,' Frank Glazer left his native Wisconsin when he was only 17, to study in Berlin with Artur Schnabel, the legendary Beethoven and Schubert interpreter.  His career that has taken him to the major performance halls in the United States, Europe, the Near East and South America, including solo recitals, appearances with orchestras and collaborations with major chamber music ensembles.

Glazer's reputation for careful program design will be evident on Friday, the 20th, when he will begin the recital with a Haydn sonata, followed by two pieces by Haydn's pupil, Beethoven, including the 'Opus 109 Sonata,' one of the last piano sonatas Beethoven wrote.  Following intermission, he continues his tradition of including pieces by more contemporary composers with a presentation of Samuel Barber's delightful 'Excursions for the Piano.'  Works by Franz Liszt follow, ending with Liszt's playful paraphrase on Verdi's 'Rigoletto.'

In 1980, following 15 years on the artist faculty at the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music, Glazer moved to Maine, where he and his wife had been spending many summers, to accept the position of artist-in-residence and lecturer in music at Bates College. Two years ago, Bates awarded him the degree of Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts.

Tickets are $16 for adults and $14 for seniors, with free admission for students. They may be purchased at the Franco Center box office between noon and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or 24 hours a day at www.francocenter.org or by calling 689-2000.

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