Paul Barnes and Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu

Special Edition Music At Noon

WhenWednesday, October 8, 2014, 12:20 PM-1:15 AM
LocationLansing Recital Hall

Pianists, Paul Barnes and Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu
Pianists Barnes and Liu perform Shoreline, a composition for two pianos written by Rev. Ivan Moody. A discussion with the performers and composer will follow. 

Paul Barnes, Pianist

Praised by the New York Times for his “Lisztian thunder and deft fluidity,” and the San Francisco Chronicle as “ferociously virtuosic,” pianist Paul Barnes has electrified audiences with his intensely expressive playing and cutting-edge programming. He has been featured four times on APM’s Performance Today and on the cover of Clavier Magazine. His recent performance at Lincoln Center was featured in the New Yorker Magazine. He has performed in England, China, Korea, Austria, Russia, Greece, Italy, Serbia, Hungary, and in all major cities throughout the US.

Deeply inspired by the aesthetic challenge of minimalism, Barnes commissioned and gave the world premier performance of Philip Glass’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (After Lewis and Clark). The Omaha World Herald praised Barnes playing for his “driving intensity and exhilaration.” Nebraska Educational Telecommunications' production "The Lewis and Clark Concerto," a documentary/performance of the concerto featuring Barnes, won an Emmy for Best Performance Production. Additional performances included collaborations with conductor Marin Alsop at the prestigious Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and also the Northwest Chamber Orchestra where the Seattle Times called Barnes' performance "an impressive feat." The world-premier recording with the NWCO was released by Orange Mountain Music. Gramophone Magazine remarked that this recording is "certainly one of the most enjoyable recent releases of Glass's music...Paul Barnes is a shining soloist."

Orange Mountain Music also released Barnes' recording of his transcriptions from the operas of Philip Glass, including both the Trilogy Sonata and the Orphée Suite for Piano. Gramophone Magazine observed that “Barnes offers a surprisingly expressive reading…. Atmosphere and rhythmic vitality are important, and these qualities Barnes has in abundance.” The American Record said "Barnes is an expressive pianist with a lovely tone and a flair for the dramatic." New York critic Joseph Dalton described Barnes' playing of the Glass transcriptions as "atmospheric and elegant," while San Francisco critic Michael McDonagh hailed Barnes' performance as "remarkably effective, highly expressive.” The Trilogy Sonata and the Orphée Suite for Piano are published by Chester Music of London and are available at

Barnes also serves as head chanter at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Lincoln where his fascination with Byzantine chant led to a commissioned piano concerto "Ancient Keys" written by Victoria Bond based on a Greek chant. The world-premier recording of this concerto as well as Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue was released on Albany Records.

With performances throughout Europe, the Near East, the Far East, and the U.S., Barnes' unique lecture/recitals have received international acclaim. Liszt and the Cross: Music as Sacrament in the B Minor Sonata explores the fascinating relationship between music, theology, and the Orthodox icon. Barnes' live recording of this lecture recital was recently released on the Liszt Digital label. The British Society Newsletter reviewed the recording and wrote that Barnes was “a fine pianist and gives us a performance of resounding conviction.” Clavier Magazine wrote "It is a majestic, reverential performance that elevates listeners to the sacred experience Barnes so eloquently desribes in the lecture."

Barnes is the Marguerite Scribante Professor of Music and Co-Chair of Piano at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Glenn Korff School of Music. He teaches during the summer at the Vienna International Piano Academy and the famed Amalfi Coast Festival in Italy, as well as the Piano Plus Festival in Corfu, Greece. He also coaches the students of Menahem Pressler, Barnes' own teacher, at Indiana University where Barnes received his doctorate in Piano Performance. In great demand as a pedagogue and clinician, Barnes has served as convention artist at several state MTNA conventions and was recently named ‘Teacher of the Year” by the Nebraska Music Teachers Association.

Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu, Pianist

With a wide-ranging repertoire, pianist Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu has enjoyed an active career as a soloist and collaborator in venues across three continents.  A dedicated performer of new music, Ms. Liu has performed music by many composers of our time, including the Lutoslawski Piano Concerto with Ossia, Steve Reich’s The Desert Music and Tehillim with Alarm Will Sound, andMeandering River for solo piano by Robert Morris (which is dedicated to her).  With AWS Ms. Liu has recorded two CDs of Reich’s major works, and a recording of Meandering River has been released by Albany Records.  In addition, Ms. Liu premiered Gregory Mertl’s Piano Concerto with the University of Minnesota Wind Ensemble, conducted by Craig Kirchhoff in November 2011.  Commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, this concerto was written for Ms. Liu and the University of Minnesota Wind Ensemble and she will be recording it for INNOVA Records in 2012.

Ms. Liu has concertized extensively during the past several years. Major performances include Ravel’s Concerto in G Major with Taipei Metropolitan Orchestra, a collaborative recital with Paul Merkelo, Principal Trumpet of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, solo recitals at Taiwan’s National Concert Hall, the Goethe Center in Bangkok, the Central Conservatory in Beijing, the Thailand International Mozart Festival, and a chamber concert with new music ensemble Open Gate at Carnegie Hall.  Her 2011-12 performances include concerts with BGSU trumpet professor Charles Saenz at the Fifth International Trumpet Festival in Shenyang, China, recital tours in eight states in the US, and concerts and master classes in Romania, where she will be one of the featured guest artists at the 2012 Romanian-American Music Festival in Bistrita.

Ms. Liu is Assistant Professor of Piano at the College of Musical Arts, Bowling Green State University.  In addition to her dedication to her students at BGSU, Ms. Liu maintains a vigorous schedule as a guest teacher and as an adjudicator at major conservatories and competitions, among them the Central Conservatory in Beijing, the Central Conservatory Piano School in Gulangyu, Xiamen, National Taiwan Normal University, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, the University of Minnesota, the First Thailand International Mozart Competition and the Eastman Young Artists International Piano Competition.

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