Seattle Pianist Starcevich to Perform for UM Celebrate Piano Series

February 25, 2014

MISSOULA – Seattle-based pianist and master teacher Sasha Starcevich will be featured at the Celebrate Piano VI concert in the University of Montana’s Music Recital Hall at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 2.

The program will feature Schubert’s “Three Piano Pieces, D. 946,” Chopin’s “Polonaise-Fantasie, Op. 61,” and Brahms’ “Variations on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24.” Tickets cost $20 for the general public, $15 for seniors and $10 for students. They can be purchased online at http://www.umt.edu/music/pianoseries, at the UMArts Box Office in the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center or by calling 406-243-4581.

After hearing the MTNA-Kawai Junior National Piano Competition in California in March 2013, UM Professor Steven Hesla was not surprised when Starcevich’s remarkably well-taught 11-year-old student became the national winner. Nathan Lee was the youngest competitor and the first of the seven national finalists to perform.

“When I heard him, I thought, ‘This is going to be tough to beat,’” Hesla said. “Winning nationals is the equivalent of winning an Olympic gold medal. A pool of nearly 500 competitors in all 50 states, aged 11-14, enter the preliminaries of this prestigious competition each year, and the top prize confirms the talents of both student and teacher.”

While at UM, Starcevich will serve as the master teacher for the UM’s annual Keyboard Festival. The public is invited to a free piano master class from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, in the Music Recital Hall, and UM piano majors will continue to benefit from Starcevich’s insights throughout the day on Saturday, March 1.

Since receiving his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale University in 2003, Starcevich has continued to thrill audiences in the U.S., Canada and Europe. He has performed recitals at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, Windsor Castle and in London’s Wigmore Hall.

His students are prizewinners of local, national and international awards, and Starcevich is in frequent demand as a performer, adjudicator and presenter of master classes throughout North America, Russia and China.

For more information on the Celebrate Piano Series, call Hesla at 406-243-6055 or email steven.hesla@umontana.edu.

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Contact: Steven Hesla, professor, UM School of Music, 406-243-6055, steven.hesla@umontana.edu.