Pianist Stephen Carlson performs Feb. 29 concert

BEMIDJI, Minn. Dr. Stephen Carlson will present a program of piano literature by Haydn, Beethoven, Granados and Liszt in a faculty recital Friday, Feb. 29, at 7:30 p.m. in the Thompson Recital Hall of Bemidji State University’s Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex.

The recital, which is free and open to the public, will demonstrate a contrast in styles by composers made famous by their piano compositions starting with Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Sonata in A-flat Major, Hob. XVI/46” written in the mid-1700s at the beginning of piano’s popularity. The elegant sonata will be followed by Ludwig van Beethoven’s bold and dramatic “Sonata in F minor, Op. 57, ‘Appassionata,'” one of Beethoven’s most beloved and respected works.

In the second half of the program, Carlson will perform the folk-inspired “Three Spanish Dances” by Enrique Granados and conclude with two works written by Franz Liszt, “Petrarch’s Sonnet 104” and “St. Francis of Paula Walking on the Water.” The latter is based on an episode from the life of St. Francis of Paola in which he invokes divine help to cross the Straits of Messina.

Carlson, who joined the Bemidji State Department of Music in 2006, has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at many colleges, universities and festivals throughout the Midwest and southeastern United States, as well as eastern Canada. He most recently performed the Beethoven “Triple Concerto” with cellist Dr. Patrick Riley and violinist Michelle Laliberte under the baton of Dr. Beverly Everett and the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra. As one half of the McKay-Carlson Piano Duo, he performs with his former instructor, John McKay of Gustavus Adolphus College. The duo has performed chamber music with members of the South Carolina Philharmonic and South Carolina’s Charleston and Greenville symphonies.

Prior to coming to Bemidji State, Carlson was a faculty member at Coker College in Hartsville, S.C. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Gustavus Adolphus College and earned his doctor of musical arts degree in piano performance and pedagogy at the University of Iowa. He made his New York debut as a solo recitalist in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 2005.

For more information, contact the Department of Music by phone at (218) 755-2915.

Feb. 29
– 7:30 p.m. – Dr. Stephen Carlson faculty piano recital presented by Bemidji State University. Location: Thompson Recital Hall of the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex, Bemidji State campus. Admission: free.