Paul Barnes' faculty recital celebrates Scribante Professorship

Paul Barnes (left) and John W. Richmond with Marguerite Scribante in Naples, Fla., in March.
Paul Barnes (left) and John W. Richmond with Marguerite Scribante in Naples, Fla., in March.

Marguerite Scribante Professor of Piano Paul Barnes presents a faculty recital titled “Homage: A Program of Music Inspired by Music” on Thursday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Kimball Recital Hall. The performance is free and open to the public.

The program also pays homage to Scribante, who endowed his recently awarded professorship in the Glenn Korff School of Music.

"Dr. Paul Barnes brings an international profile as an innovative performing artist, coupled with a terrific record of success as an accomplished teacher and recruiter, “ said John W. Richmond, Director of the Glenn Korff School of Music. “His studio is always fully subscribed, and his students come from across the globe to work with him. In the last 12 months alone, Dr. Barnes has appeared in concert across North American, Europe and China. In short, his record of artistic and teaching accomplishments aligns superbly well with the very high expectations we have for the holder of the Marguerite Scribante Professorship of Music. His faculty recital will launch a new chapter in his storied career. We could not be more excited for him or more grateful to his magnificent benefactor, Ms. Marguerite Scribante."

Barnes’ program includes works that pay homage to other music or composers.

“I realized that a lot of the pieces I was currently working on were dedicated to other pieces of music,” Barnes said.

The program will begin with Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in B-flat Minor from “The Well Tempered Clavier” Book I, which will be followed by Jackson Berkey’s “Homage to Johann Sebastian Bach” Nocturne in F-sharp Minor (2012). Next is N. Lincoln Hanks’ “Jeux et théorie: connexion libre avec Bach” from “Monstre sacré.” This four-movement work explores the troubled and somewhat self-absorbed life of the “holy terror,” that artist whose art is so important that we put up with a myriad of personal quirks and shortcomings.

The centerpiece of the program is Victoria Bond’s “Potirion Sotiriu” (The Cup of Salvation), which is based on a Greek Orthodox communion hymn that Barnes sang for Bond. She then composed a piano piece for him based on that chant.

“I will chant the hymn, and then play the piece and chant it again at the end,” Barnes said.

Next is Berkey’s Nocturne in B Major, followed by Ivan Moody’s “Fiorature” (flowers). Barnes will pair Moody’s work with his favorite Chopin Nocturne, Op. 27 No. 2 in D-flat Major.

The program concludes with Joan Tower’s “Homage to Beethoven” arranged for solo piano by Barnes.

“I’ve been playing Joan Tower’s music now for more than 20 years,” Barnes said. “I have always been fascinated by her rhythmic drive that emerges so organically from her music.”

Following his performance at Kimball Hall, Barnes will be performing “Homage” in New York City on April 5 at Lincoln Center.

“Lincoln gets it before Lincoln Center,” Barnes said.

He also performed it in Los Angeles in March, and gave a special performance in Naples, Fla., for Scribante and her selected guests.

“She loved it,” Barnes said. “It’s a win-win situation where she sees that the professorship is going to someone who is actively and passionately devoted to both teaching and performing. And I get to know a wonderful woman who is dedicated to promoting excellence in music here at UNL.”