Herberger School to kick off Chopin Extravaganza Jan. 25

Published On:
Friday, January 22, 2010
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After 200 years, virtuoso pianist Frédéric Chopin is still considered one of the greats, and ASU’s ASU Herberger Institute
for Design and the Arts School of Music plans to show why during the Chopin Extravaganza this month. This six-concert series will begin Jan. 25 at Katzin Concert Hall and celebrate Chopin’s music with student and faculty performances.

The concerts will run through March 28, including a special March 1 performance for Chopin’s 200th birthday.

The event is the creation of Walter Cosand, music professor in the School of Music.

“I had been expecting to do something special for Chopin’s 200th birthday,” said Cosand, a self-professed “huge Chopin fan” who created the event along with other faculty interested in celebrating the composer’s bicentennial.

“I love to play Chopin,” Cosand said. “I’ve played whole recitals of his music in China, in Paris, and it’s music that people love to play and people love to listen to.”

The performances, which have titles like the “Elegance of Chopin” and the “Versatility of Chopin,” will be performed by faculty members and show the range of Chopin’s music making the two-month long event a great opportunity to hear his most famous pieces alongside more obscure ones.

This event will be open to the world, said Caio Pagano, Regents Professor of Piano and performer for the Chopin Extravaganza.

“They will hear, for the first time, the music of Chopin,” he said.

For Cosand, putting on this event makes a lot of sense.

“His music is really very popular and would be performed in any case,” Cosand said.

After 200 years, Chopin is still going strong, and with the Extravaganza converting new fans to his music, it will endure long after now, Pagano said.

“[Chopin’s music] is not something that will fade off the shelf,” he said.

Reach the reporter at affoote@asu.edu