GFU professor presents Encounters with Beethoven at Feb. 20 concert

Essentially, it’s a standard piano solo recital. The music will last somewhere between 90 and 120 minutes and the musical selection includes a variety of styles. But at its core, the “Encounters with Beethoven” concert at George Fox University is unlike many others.

The Bösendorfer Concert Series was started in 2007 by Professor Kenn Wilson, who was looking to try something a little GARY ALLEN - New take - GFU music professor Kenn Wilson performs two different ‘encounters' concerts, exploring a multi-media take to music. On Feb. 20 he will perform ‘Encounters with Beethoven.'

“I thought, ‘Why not combine the ‘real’ composer’s thoughts and emotions with their music? Why must all the composer information be so dry? Let’s discuss the ‘rock and roll-a-bility’ of Beethoven,” Wilson said. “The result is endless fun and a concert series that is slightly off the beaten path each time it is presented.”

He characterized the up­coming concert a “non-academic recital.”

“It’s a multimedia piano recital because it includes information through pictures, through recordings, through cartoons, lots of different things that all point to and talk about Beethoven as a person,” Wilson said.

“Encounters with Beet­hoven” is one of two “encounters” series he produces, the second focusing on Bach.

“The content changes and the music will eventually, but it’s been the same program the last few years,” Wilson said, adding the program has been well received by audiences.

“In between my playing I talk to the audience and I also have movie clips that illustrate something about Beethoven’s life. One clip illustrates to audiences in a very poignant way what it was like to be deaf,” he said. “I’m also incorporating … a Tom and Jerry cartoon during one movement because it lends itself to it.”

He said these visual stimulants are what make it so family friendly.

“Because young children are seeing a visual stimulant, as well as a humor element,” Wilson said. “But I try to incorporate new things as well, in terms of what I present.”

New to this concert is an interview from the last survivor of the Auschwitz Con­centration Camp.

“It addressed music and Beethoven music specifically,” he said. “I want to incorporate that and it’s very moving because of where she was at and what she went through in her life.”

Wilson will perform pieces including German Dance #1, Sonata Op. 31 #3, Sonata Op. 27 #2 (“Moon­light”) and “Joy­ful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.”

The “encounter” is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at Bauman Auditorium. Tickets are $10, $8 for seniors and alumni and $6 for students. For more information or to buy tickets, visit 1isroyv.

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