FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2003
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—An internationally acclaimed pianist and
Birmingham-Southern College's artist-in-residence is continuing
in February a concert series aimed at introducing local youth to
the piano and the classics.
Steinway artist William DeVan began the “Classics for Children” concert
series in January 2000 and offered it again in 2001 and 2002. The series continues
this month with a performance at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23, at Forbes Piano
Company in Homewood. The “Classics for Children” concerts are
free and open to the public.
“I feel that when you live in a community, you need to do things in that
community to promote the arts,” explained DeVan, a music professor at Birmingham-Southern
since 1980. “This concert series makes sure the children hear classical
music and feel comfortable hearing it in an environment that is upbeat and
that is rather informal.
“One of my favorite things to do is play for children. I remember how exciting—and
life-changing—it was for me to hear classical music as a child.”
DeVan will present the piano music of
Frederic Chopin, well known for its great beauty and innovation.
He will perform 12 of the
24 Chopin Preludes, including
the famous “Raindrop,” the C Minor, B Minor, E Minor, A Major,
and D Minor Preludes. In addition to playing the piano, DeVan will discuss
the music he's playing and explain important musical concepts, including
the special effects, colors, and techniques used to produce the appropriate
sound at the piano. He also will answer questions from the children.
A native of Pine Hill, Ala., DeVan received
his bachelor's and master's
degrees from The Juilliard School. He also studied piano in Germany, receiving
the Konzertexamen Diploma in 1979 from the Staatliche Hochschule für
Musik und Theater in Hannover.
In 1975, he became the only American pianist
ever to win the “Vianna
da Motta” competition in Lisbon, Portugal. He also has toured, appeared
in numerous concerts, performed recitals, and presented master classes in
the United States, Australia, Croatia, France, Germany, Israel, Canada, and
among other locations.
A recipient of two Mellon Foundation grants,
DeVan is co-author of “Schumann:
Solo Piano Literature,” a comprehensive guide to the piano works of