Tribute to Paul Pollei
Paul Pollei was one of those rare individuals who truly deserve characterization as a visionary leader. Through his great knowledge and love of music, his enormous enthusiasm, his warm personality, and his sheer indefatigability, he created an international piano competition that still stands as one of the world’s most prestigious. Paul was truly a force of nature, whose work touched the lives of literally thousands of gifted young pianists from all over the world. I will always be grateful to him, not only for the opportunities that I owe directly to his efforts, but also for the inspiration that his life’s work continues to provide.
Sonata in F-sharp minor, op. 25, no. 5 // Muzio Clementi
Lento e patetico
Kreisleriana // Robert Schumann
Ciclo Brasileiro // Heitor Villa-Lobos
Plantio de Caboclo
Festa no sertao
Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, op. 36 // Sergei Rachmaninoff
About the Artist
Michael Gurt is Paula Garvey Manship Distinguished Professor of Piano at Louisiana State University. Professor Gurt serves as Piano Mentor at the Hot Springs Music Festival, and is also the head of the piano department at the Sewanee Summer Music Center. He has served as Piano Chair of the Louisiana Music Teachers Association, and he has taught at two summer music seminars held at Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan. Professor Gurt holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the Juilliard School. In 1982 he won First Prize in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, and he was also a prize winner in international competitions held in Pretoria, South Africa, and Sydney, Australia.
Gurt has performed as soloist with the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Utah Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Capetown Symphony, the China National Symphony Orchestra, and the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban, South Africa. He has made solo appearances in Alice Tully Hall in New York, Ambassador Auditorium in Los Angeles, Orchestra Hall in Detroit, City Hall in Hong Kong, the Victorian Arts Center in Melbourne, Australia, Baxter Hall in Capetown, South Africa, and the Attaturk Cultural Center in Istanbul, Turkey. Gurt has collaborated with the Takacs String Quartet, and he recently performed at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, Queensland. He has served on the juries of both the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and the New Orleans International Piano Competition, and he has recorded on the Naxos, Centaur, and Redwood labels.
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