Pianist Tom White Performs Sunday at Palm
by Karen James
Jul 03, 2008 | 495 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TELLURIDE – After months of preparation, local classical pianist and music appreciation teacher Tom White will give a farewell recital to Telluride at the Michael D. Palm Theatre this Sunday as he prepares to embark on an exciting new chapter in his life.

A Pennsylvania native, White, who also celebrates his thirty-first birthday on Sunday, relocated to Telluride from Boulder six years ago, and will soon call Greeley home. This August he will begin pursuing a master’s degree in piano performance at the University of Northern Colorado. He holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Penn State University.

White recently left his work as a survey draftsperson in what he described as a dramatic life change, and is looking forward to returning to school where he can focus on his music and be surrounded by fellow musicians.

A return to school will provide him with, “Somewhere I can practice five to six hours a day,” he said.

In the meantime, White said he is thankful to the Telluride Council for the Arts and Humanities for providing him with a grant that allowed him to prepare his upcoming recital. The program will largely feature solo piano works from the Baroque to Romantic periods.

White, whose previous two recitals have taken place at the Sheridan Opera House, is looking forward to making use of the Steinway concert grand piano at the Palm Theatre, he said. He will open his recital with the first two movements, the Allemande and Courante, of Johann Sebastian Bach’s French Suite No. 6 in E major. Although not composed as dance music, White explained that the movements are based on actual period dances.

Next, White will play what he described as “a very, very beautiful piece of music – very serene, very peaceful,” Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28, the so-called “Pastoral” Sonata.

Beethoven, an important transitional composer, wrote the piece shortly after he composed the famous “Moonlight” Sonata as his style of composition was transitioning from Classical to Romantic, White said.

Following graduate school, White, who has served on the Telluride Chamber Music Festival Board of Directors for about four years, anticipates he will continue teaching.

“Ideally I would love to get a position teaching at a college or university somewhere,” he said. “But I see myself opening up a studio.”

White became interested in classical music when introduced to it in the fourth grade. He began taking piano lessons at the arguably late age of 12, however, “It really doesn’t matter when you [start playing], it matters how much effort and time you put into it,” he said.

Following a 15-minute intermission, White will return for the second half of the recital joined by violinist Danny DeSantis, with whom he co-hosts the Sunday Evening Classical program on KOTO. The two will play the Bach Sonata for Violin and Keyboard No. 3 in E major

“The second half is going to be really exciting,” White said.

White will then perform Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Humoresque in G, Op. 10, No. 5, which the late Romantic Russian composer wrote during a period when he was performing often.

“It’s very showy and fast,” he said.

The recital wraps up with the “show stopper” of Scherzo No. 2 in B Flat minor, Op. 31 by Polish composer Frédéric Chopin.

“It’s big and bombastic,” said White. “It’s going to go out with a bang, so to speak,” he said.

Tickets to White’s Sunday performance at 6 p.m. are $15 and available at the door.
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