The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Anderson University is presenting internationally-acclaimed concert pianist, James Tocco, in a solo piano recital at York Performance Hall at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 30 as part of the Bengtson Concert Series.
Italian-American virtuoso James Tocco enjoys international renown as a recitalist, orchestral soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue. Beyond his vast repertoire of virtually the entire standard piano literature, he is widely regarded as among the foremost interpreters of American masterworks, including Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety, which he has recorded with Leonard Slatkin and the BBC London; and the Corigliano Piano Concerto, of which he is acknowledged the definitive interpreter by the Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer. He has performed this spectacular work to great acclaim with the Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, San Diego, Kansas City, Phoenix and National Symphonies, and with the Louisville Orchestra, with which he recorded the work. The pianist’s recent seasons included his Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra debut in Amsterdam, performing the MacDowell Concerto and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and his debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London in the Prokofiev Third Concerto. An especially accomplished recitalist, Mr. Tocco has been widely praised for his interpretations of Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt, as well as 20th-century composers.
Born of Italian parents in Detroit, Tocco’s love of music–especially opera–began in childhood. At six he began studying piano and made his orchestral debut at age twelve, performing Beethoven’s Second Concerto. Among the awards that followed were a scholarship to the Salzburg Mozarteum and a French government grant to study with Magda Tagliaferro in Paris. His musical education was completed with Claudio Arrau in New York. International prominence came with his First Prize victory in the International ARD Competition in Munich, followed by a major triumph as a last-minute replacement for Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli as guest soloist for the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto at the Vienna Festival.
In the years since, he has performed around the world: throughout North and South America, Europe, the Soviet Union, Japan, Australia, South Africa and the Middle East. Festival invitations include Salzburg, Vienna, Lockenhaus, Holland, Schleswig-Holstein, Dubrovnik, Wolf Trap, the Hollywood Bowl, Blossom, Ravinia, New York’s “Mostly Mozart,” Spoleto (USA) and Santa Fe.
Tocco’s discography reflects his varied tastes and astonishing versatility: the world-premiere recording of Bernstein’s complete solo piano music, an all-Copland disc including the first recording of the solo piano version of the Suite from Rodeo; the complete Chopin Préludes, the complete piano music of Charles Tomlinson Griffes; Erwin Schulhof’s Cinq Etudes de Jazz; Bach-Liszt Organ Transcriptions; and the four piano sonatas of Edward MacDowell. Recently issued to unanimous acclaim is Tocco’s recording of Corigliano’s Etude-Fantasy on Sony Classical. And his newest releases are a Gasparo disc called American Piano - premiere performances of works by American composers Lukas Foss, Joel Hoffman, Bernhard Heiden and John Downey; a disc of piano and chamber music works by Paul Schoenfield; and several disks of chamber works by the 19th-Century German romantic composer Eduard Franck.
In addition to his rigorous international performing itinerary, Tocco is Eminent Scholar/Artist-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. He is also the Artistic Director of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Prior to the event, tickets will be sold at the box office in Reardon Auditorium at Anderson University. On the day of the event, tickets will be sold in the lobby of York Performance Hall. Ticket prices are $15 (adults), $10 (seniors, military, faculty/staff), and $5 (students). Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the venue the day of the concert. Persons wishing to purchase tickets in advance by phone may call (765) 641-4140.
Anderson University is a private Christian university in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.