By Jessica Chia
Pianist Helge Antoni, an Exclusive Steinway Artist from Malmö, Sweden, will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10 in Roxy Grove Auditorium.
The recital, Inspiración Latina, will feature the music of composers Scarlatti, Albeniz, Turina, de Falla, Villa-Lobos, Ginastera and Piazzolla.
“These are really upbeat, exciting pieces, and I think people will be delighted,” said Dr. Alden Smith, assistant dean of the Honors College and director of University Scholars.
“The topic itself, Inspiración Latina, is important to everyone in Texas. It’s very much a part of our culture.”
The free performance, which is sponsored by the Baylor School of Music and the Honors College, is open to all students, faculty, staff and community members, and is free of charge.
“It will be much different from the average concert,” Smith said.
Smith said Antoni takes time between songs to explain the significance of each piece, or an interesting fact about its inspiration or the composer who created it.
“He enjoys interacting with the audience. He likes to explain little details,” Smith said.
Antoni will be available to sign autographs, albums or chat after his performance.
“There will be lots of access to Helge after the concert. He’s very excited about the Baylor experience,” Smith said.
In addition to the concert, Antoni will be guest-lecturing in classes within the School of Music, the Honors College, and the Classics department and speaking at an open lecture, “Follow your (He-)arts!,” during his 11-day visit.
Antoni’s lecture, which will be held in the Honors Residential College’s Alexander reading room at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 8, will focus on how humanities and the arts can inspire not only an appreciation of beauty but action in the world.
Antoni lives out this philosophy through the foundation he created in 2004 for young musicians in Lima, Peru and his involvement at the University of Witten/Herdecke in Germany, where he has been an “artist-in-residence” since 2002.
Antoni has released several albums and has performed live and on radio and television in Europe and both North and South America.
“It’s always wonderful to have a world-class pianist on campus to serve as a role-model to our students,” said Dr. William V. May, dean of the School of Music. “We’re looking forward to having him here.”
Smith said Antoni’s intellect and involvement with the audience separates him from other well-known musicians.
“Is this the first famous person we’ve ever had to Baylor? Definitely not,” Smith said. “It’s very common for us.”
“I think what will set Helge apart is his personality. His love of students; his love of life. If you don’t want to be inspired, stay home.”