Piotr Szewczyk, violinSix pieces from Violin Futura 3
Gary Smart, pianoBlossoms : Solo Piano Improvisations
Two in One!
1. The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra's Piotr Szewczyk premieres pieces for unaccompanied violin written especially for him by composers from around the world.
2. UNF Professor Dr. Gary Smart presents free-wheeling piano improvisations ... Discard the labels--Expect the unexpected!
Polish-born violinist and composer Piotr Szewczyk (b. 1977) studied composition and violin at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and while earning both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees as well as his Artist Diploma, Piotr served as concertmaster of several of the College-Conservatory's orchestras. He then received a fellowship at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach where he served as rotating concertmaster under Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas. The winner of the 2006 New World Symphony Concerto competition, Mr. Szewczyk has appeared as soloist with numerous ensembles, including the Lima Symphony, New World Symphony, World Youth Symphony Orchestra, Queen City Virtuosi, and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. Piotr also has given solo and chamber recitals in the United States, Poland, Germany and Austria, and his own award-winning compositions have been performed by numerous orchestral and chamber ensembles, and at the American Symphony Orchestra League Conference by ALIAS Ensemble in Nashville. Mr. Szewczyk’s string quintet, The Rebel, was performed live on the CBS Early Show by the Sybarite Chamber Players, and was also featured on NPR's Performance Today. Piotr joined the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in September 2007, and in 2008 he won a commission from the Symphony by placing first in its Fresh Ink composition competition. The resulting piece, First Coast Fanfare, was premiered by the Jacksonville Symphony on April 15th of this year.
Mr. Szewczyk's critically-acclaimed Violin Futura project features recitals of short, exciting and innovative solo violin pieces newly-written for him by composers from the United States, Germany, England and Japan. Currently working on the third program group in the series, Szewczyk has performed Violin Futura at numerous festivals and universities including Spoleto Festival USA, Berklee College of Music in Boston, University of Florida, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Santa Fe New Music Festival, University of Cincinnati, University of North Florida, EMMA Lecture Series at Flagler College, Bavarian Academy of Arts in Munich, Germany, New Museum of Art and Design in Nuremberg, Germany and many others.
For this Intermezzo recital, Mr. Szewczyk will perform:
- Day Ut Ia Pobrusa - Rodney Waschka II
- Memories - Lan-chee Lam
- Caprice - Ng Wah-hei
- Menuet pour le violon solo - Matthew Davidson
- Moto Perpetuo - Jorge Sosa
- En Comunión - Douglas Pew
Gary Smart's career has encompassed a wide range of activities as composer, classical and jazz pianist, and teacher. A true American pluralist, Dr. Smart composes and improvises a music that reflects an abiding interest in world musics, Americana and jazz, as well as the Western classical tradition. Always
a musician with varied interests, he may be the only pianist to have studied with Yale scholar/keyboardist Ralph Kirkpatrick, the great Cuban virtuoso Jorge Bolet, and the master jazz pianist Oscar Peterson.
Smart’s work has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Music Educator's National Conference, the Music Teacher's National Association, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Smart’s music has been performed in major venues in the United States, including the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as venues in Europe and Asia. His Concordia for orchestra won the Concordia jazz composition award and was premiered at Lincoln Center, New York. His Song of the Holy Ground for string quartet and piano won the 2008 John Donald Robb Musical Trust Composers’ Competition and was premiered at the 2009 Robb Composers’ Symposium at the University of New Mexico.
Smart's compositions are published by Margun Music (G. Schirmer) and his work has been recorded on the Mastersound, Capstone and Albany labels. His CD’s The Major’s Letter, songs for voice and piano, American Beauty – a ragtime bouquet, Hot Sonatas, a collection of jazz-influenced chamber music, and Turtle Dreams of Flight, original music for solo piano performed by the composer, have all been released recently by Albany Records.
Blossoms, a recording of his solo piano improvisations, is currently in production.
Dr. Smart spent two residencies in Japan, teaching in programs at Osaka University and Kobe College. He also taught in Indonesia as "Distinguished Lecturer in Jazz" under the auspices of the Fulbright program. From 1999-2003, he served as Chairman of the UNF Music Department. Gary Smart is currently a Presidential Professor of Music at the University of North Florida.
More about Dr. Smart at garysmart.net