© 2020 Iowa Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
IPR Music

Virtual Steinway Cafe Performance Postponed Due To Derecho

Madeleine King

Editor's Note: The virtual Steinway Café performance scheduled for Tuesday, August 11 was postponed due to storm damage. Check back for a rescheduled date.

IPR Classical launched our Steinway Café series after we restored our 1918 Steinway B piano. In the pre-pandemic world, we hosted in-studio performances. Due to COVID-19, we’ve reinvented the series to make it available for live-streaming on Facebook and YouTube.

Marian Lee, an associate professor of piano at St. Ambrose University in Davenport will present a dazzling performance on August 11. Then on August 18, Iowa City’s Nathan Carterette will perform his program “Poets of the Piano-Heroes and Icons” from Trinity Episcopal Church. This will be the first appearance for both pianists on IPR’s Virtual Steinway Café.

Marian Lee hosts concert at noon on Tuesday, August 11

Lee will perform from St. Ambrose University’s campus on August 11 starting her concert with the heartfelt “All in Due Time” by William Campbell.

Composer, performer, and teacher Campbell is currently the professor of music theory and composition at St. Ambrose. As a film composer, Campbell is well known for his socially conscious film scores and also his zombie film scores. Campbell had his “50 Feet from Syria” placed on an Academy Award shortlist, and “Lifeboat” was nominated for an Academy Award and a "News and Documentary" Emmy. Dr. Campbell also composes songs, incidental theatre music, chorus, large ensemble, chamber, and mixed ensembles along with solo guitar and piano works.

Lee will then turn to a Prelude, the seventh work taken from a set of 10 pieces composed by one of the twentieth century’s major Russian composers and pianists, Prokofiev. Prokofiev’s effervescent Prelude in C is aptly nicknamed “The Harp."

The legendary romantic Russian composer and virtuoso pianist, Sergei Rachmaninov’s 13 Preludes, Op. 32: No. 12 in g # minor (Allegro) appears next in Lee’s Virtual Steinway Café playlist. The thrilling work was composed by Rachmaninov in 1910 to polish off his goal of composing 24 Preludes that explore all the different major and minor keys.

Lee will also memorialize the 250th birthday celebration of Beethoven by performing Beethoven’s 32 Variations on an original theme in c minor. Composed in late 1806 and without opus number, Beethoven created an eight-bar theme with a left-hand Baroque ground bass-like chromatic falling line. Beethoven runs the performing pianist through their paces with his incredible variations.

Following Beethoven, Lee has selected an evocative and greatly admired nocturne by one of the most legendary composers for the piano, Chopin.

Jeremy Seipmann, author of Chopin: The Reluctant Romantic, calls Chopin’s Nocturne in D-flat, Op. 27, No. 2, “an unsurpassed jewel of craftsmanship in every sense: in its uniquely delicate and seductive sonorities, in the extraordinary, bel canto elaborations of its melody, in its harmonic subtlety and its Classical proportions.”

To end the set, Lee will perform the haunting and poignant Andante second movement from the Sonata in e minor by Florence Beatrice Price. Ms. Price was the first noted Black American female composer to gain national recognition when the Chicago Symphony Orchestra gave the 1933 world premiere of her Symphony No. 1 in e minor. During Ms. Price’s career, she composed over 300 works and also witnessed and endured segregation, Jim Crow Laws, racism, and sexism. She graduated from the New England Conservatory with a double major in organ and piano performance. Marian Anderson championed her works, often closing her concerts with Ms. Price’s setting of “My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord.”

Tom McCall
Marian Lee of St. Ambrose University will give a virtual concert on Tuesday, August 11 live at iowapublicradio.org.

Finally, Lee will close with her presentation of the inspirational and moving “Together We Rise” by William Campbell.

About Marian Lee

Lee obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Juilliard and her doctorate from Peabody Institute. She then received her post-graduate certificate in piano performance from the Moscow State Conservatory. She won the Artists International Award, accepted a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Moscow Conservatory, and completed her doctoral research project in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Dr. Lee has performed at New York City’s Carnegie and Steinway Halls, at the Kennedy and Lincoln Centers, given an exclusive recital at the Hermitage Theatre in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia and was featured on a nationally live televised broadcast in Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Russia.