By Julia Shands
OBU News Bureau
ARKADELPHIA — Ouachita Baptist University’s Division of Music will host pianist Rachel Breen in concert Monday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Mabee Fine Arts Center’s McBeth Recital Hall. Breen’s performance is part of Ouachita’s guest artist series and the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist (NFMC) program. The concert is free and open to the public.
Breen was a self-taught pianist until the age of 10, when she began to study with Dr. Sharon Mann at the San Francisco Conservatory. Breen earned her bachelor’s degree with academic honors from the Juilliard School and is pursuing dual master’s degrees at the Hannover Hochschule fur Musik and Yale School of Music.
She has won awards such as the Georges Cziffra International Competition in Senlis, France; the Nuova Coppa Pianisti International Competition in Osimo, Italy; the Livorno International Piano Competition in Tuscany, Italy; The Gallinari International Competition in Bologna, Italy; and the Premio Melini International Piano Competition in Trento, Italy. She was a semifinalist in the 2021 Beethoven Vienna International Competition.
“Each year we are fortunate to have the winner of the National Federation of Music Clubs competition come to campus for a recital,” said Dr. Gary Gerber, dean of Ouachita’s School of Fine Arts. “This has been an annual event for the past 12 to 15 years. Our students are fortunate to be able to hear young artists of this quality perform on campus.”
Every other year, the NFMC selects honored Young Artists for piano, strings and vocals through a national competition. Those artists win cash prizes and represent NFMC in performances throughout the nation.
Breen’s program at Ouachita includes “Study for Player Piano no. 6” by Conlon Nancarrow,
“Trois Mouvements de Petrushka” by Igor Stravinsky, “Prelude and Waltz in C” by Gyorgy Kurtag, “Prelude op. 11 no. 23” by Alexander Scriabin, “Intermezzo op. 95 no. 1” from Cinderella by Sergei Prokofiev, “Bagatelle op. 126 no. 3” by Ludwig van Beethoven, “Impromptu no. 1” and “Impromptu no. 2” by Frédéric Chopin, “Wasserklavier” by Luciano Berio, “Impromptu no. 2” by F. Chopin, “Fairy Tale op. 51 no. 5” by Nikolai Medtner, “Etude Tableau op. 39 no. 4” by Sergei Rachmaninoff, “Prelude no. 4” from Songs of Bukovina by Leonid Desyatnikov, “Song Without Words op. 62 no. 6” by Felix Mendelssohn, “Prelude and Fugue in D major” by Johann Sebastian Bach, “Prelude Book 1 no. 12 ‘Minstrels’” by Claude Debussy and “Liebesfreud” by Fritz Kreisler and transcribed by Rachmaninoff.
“We encourage students, faculty and the Ouachita community to attend the free recital,” said Gerber. “It will be a wonderful display of musicianship.”
For more information, contact Ouachita’s School of Fine Arts at (870) 245-5129.