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Lecture-Concert Series Features Pianist’s Performance on 1802-era Fortepiano


JONESBORO – A recital featuring Janice Wenger, playing a reproduction of an 1802-era keyboard instrument, will be the second presentation of the 2013-2014 Lecture-Concert Series at Arkansas State University.

The recital will be Monday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Fine Arts Center.  Admission is free to all events in the Lecture-Concert Series, and the public is welcome.

Dr. Wenger will bring for the recital a McNulty Fortepiano, an exact reproduction of a fortepiano made by Anton Walter in about 1802.

Three faculty members from the Department of Music at A-State will perform with her on the program: Dr. Marika Kyriakos, soprano; Dr. Robin Dauer, French horn; and Dr. Guy Harrison, violin.

A professor of music at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Wenger holds degrees in piano performance from Kansas State University, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music.

With a range of five and a half octaves, the fortepiano is representative of the instruments in Vienna when composers Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, and their contemporaries were at their peak.

Kyriakos, a soprano, traces her personal interest in the fortepiano to her own experience as a young pianist growing up in Columbia.  Her parents, both musicians, have known Wenger for many years.

"The fortepiano intrigues me.  It is a lovely instrument.  The touch is so feathery light," she explained. 

Wenger's program includes vocal music literature from the Classical period, including compositions by Mozart, Scarlatti, Haydn, and Schubert.

"Much of the song literature is appropriate for young voices and includes selections that we teach our own students.  I think students enjoy hearing their teachers sing things that they know or have sung themselves, which doesn't happen often."

As professor of music, Wenger teaches studio piano, piano literature, and collaborative piano, as well as coordinating the keyboard faculty.  Her students at MU are active in competitions and performances as piano performance and collaborative piano majors.

She also performs frequently as both solo pianist and professional collaborative pianist, and she served more than 10 years as official accompanist to both regional and national finals of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) student competitions. 

Wenger has been lecturer or adjudicator for the American Liszt Society, the Federation of Music Clubs, Missouri Music Teachers Association, Kansas Music Teachers Association, MTNA, St. Louis Piano Teachers Round Table, and the College Music Society.

The program, in keeping with A-State’s mission to educate leaders, enhance intellectual growth and enrich lives, will be presented with additional support from the Department of Music and College of Fine Arts, according to Dr. Tim Crist, chair of the Lecture-Concert Committee.

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Dr. Janice Wenger
Dr. Janice Wenger