UNCW Cultural Arts Presents Music of the Russian Romantics

Elizabeth Lopartis

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Renowned resident pianists Norman Bemelmans and Elizabeth Loparits are featured in a program of solo and two-piano compositions by Alexander Scriabin and Sergei Rachmaninoff at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6 in UNCW's Kenan Auditorium. The concert, "Music of the Russian Romantics," is the inaugural event in the UNCW 2012-2013 Masters Series Piano Masterworks series.

Acclaimed soloists who perform nationally and internationally, Bemelmans  and Loparits also specialize in the two-piano repertoire, having recently performed solo and two-piano works by Franz Liszt on a recent Hungarian tour.

"The music of Scriabin and Rachmaninoff is a joy to perform, thrillingly epitomizing the Russian Romantic sound and soul," said Bemelmans.  "Both composers were phenomenal pianists themselves, and their music is wonderfully written for the keyboard in the grand Romantic style---lovely lyrical melodies combined with fire and virtuosity."  The program's second half is devoted to Rachmaninoff's Second Suite for Two Pianos, one of the seminal works in the two piano repertoire. "It contains all of the trademark Rachmaninoffian virtuosity," added Bemelmans, "but is also breathtakingly beautiful."

A native of Hungary, Loparits is an active recitalist who has performed in Hungary, Austria, Costa Rica, and throughout the United States both as a soloist and collaborative pianist. She won top prizes at the National Bartók Piano Competition of Hungary and the Kodály-Bartók Chamber Music Competition.  Loparits has performed with the North Carolina Symphony and Wilmington Symphony Orchestra, with whom she will be featured again as guest soloist on Sept. 22.  Loparits holds a Diploma from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Pécs, Hungary; a Master of Music degree in piano performance from Illinois State University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from UNC Greensboro. She is currently on faculty at UNC Wilmington

Born into an Austrian family prominently involved in the arts, Bemelmans gave his first public solo concert at the age of seven. He has studied with international luminaries Jean Houpt, Stefan Bardas, Patrizia Benkman and Ozan Marsch and toured professionally under the sponsor ship of Pobitzer Artists International and the Franz Liszt Foundation. From 1993-2000 he served in Atlanta as the Executive Director for Georgia Public Radio, Georgia's 14-station public radio network. In 2005 he was appointed the director of cultural arts at UNC Wilmington. An active recitalist in both the United States and Europe, Bemelmans' interpretations of the works of Liszt and Chopin in particular have received enthusiastic critical acclaim.

Tickets for "The Music of the Russian Romantics" are $18 (General Public); $15 (UNCW Faculty/Staff); and free for UNCW students with a valid ID. To purchase tickets or for more information call or visit the Kenan Auditorium Box Office, Monday - Friday, noon to 6 p.m., (910) 962-3500 or (800) 732-3643.

Press Downloads: 
High resolution photos of Norman Bemelmans and Elizabeth Loparits available at http://uncw.edu/arts/russianromantics.html under "Media Links" in the right-hand column. 

Media Contacts:
Courtney Reilly, 910.962.2082
Caroline Cropp, 910.962.7109