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School's music department is putting on a series of concerts focusing on different composers

PHOTO COURTESY OF GFU - GFU professor Kenn Willson is a Bosendorfer Educational Artist, designated by the Viennese Piano Manufactuer.

George Fox University Music Professor Kenn Willson will perform an evening of classical music next week in the college's Bauman Auditorium.

Willson will perform at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21, playing "Encounters with Beethoven and Chopin." Tickets are $12 for general admission, $8 for seniors and alumni and $6 for students and children under 12.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.georgefox.edu/concerts or by calling the school's box office at 503-554-3844.

Willson was named a Bösendorfer Educational Artist by the Viennese Piano Manufacturing Company in 2005.

He was also invited to Vienna to present a recital at the Bösendorfer Hall in 2006, which was part of Bösendorfer's "Happy Birthday Mozart" celebrations.

During his concert, Willson will perform Beethoven's "Ecossaises Dances," "German Dance #1," "Sonata Op. 31 #3," "Movement 2 (Scherzo)," "Sonata Op. 27 #2," and "Ode to Joy." From Chopin, he will perform "Prelude Op. 28 #4," "Prelude Op. 28 #6," and "Ballade, Op. 47."

Willson is a tenured professor at George Fox, where he serves as coordinator of keyboard studies. He came up with the idea for the "Encounters with …" concert series in the 200s.

He was asked to teach to a general music history course, which a press release said triggered a thought.

"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," he said. "The result is endless fun and a concert series that is slightly off the beaten path each time it is presented."

The Bösendorfer Concert Series, sponsored by George Fox's music department, has brought in world-renowned classical pianists since its inception in 2007.

Past performers have included Baruch Meir, Gianluca Luisi of Italy and Valentina Lisitsa of Ukraine.

The concert is the first of three to be hosted at George Fox this month. At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23, the university's choir ensembles will perform in concert.

Then, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28, the school will host a symphonic band concert in Bauman Auditorium.

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