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Piano Recital to Celebrate Once-Banned Composer

by Rod Jones

Steinway artist Sergio Monteiro will celebrate the CD release of his performance of piano works by the once-banned Brazilian composer Henrique Oswald with a recital at 8 p.m. Feb. 5 at Oklahoma City University.

Monteiro will perform on a nine-foot Steinway grand in Petree Recital Hall, 2501 N. Blackwelder. The program also will feature music by Prokofiev, Scarlatti and Liszt.

Tickets ($20, open seating) are available online at www.okcu.edu/tickets or by calling 405-208-5227.

“Artists have been revisiting some of this repertoire and discovering true gems,” said the Brazilian-born Monteiro, director of piano at OCU’s Bass School of Music. “It is music composed with a lovely sense of beauty — music to entertain the audience and to be shared with others.”

The new Oswald album, released internationally by Naxos, is the first of a series of recordings to feature Monteiro. The second CD, available in June, will highlight his interpretations of the symphonic poems of Franz Liszt.

A winner of the Martha Argerich International Piano Competition, Monteiro has performed as featured soloist with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, conducted by Charles Dutoit, and with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. Argerich describes him as “an artist with extraordinary creativity and energy. When he starts playing, music comes to life. His love for music is very strong and passionate; music loves him in return.”

Monteiro presented the Brazilian premiere of John Corigliano's Piano Concerto; performed in Moscow with the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, with Orchestra Toronto, and in Rio de Janeiro with the Dredner Philarmonic; and gave recitals in venues ranging from Rome’s Palestrina Hall to the Sibelius Academy, in Helsinki to the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center to Steinway Halls in New York and Dallas.

“I have been interested in the romantic composers of Brazil and South America for a long time, since my college years. Oswald is probably the most gifted of them,” Monteiro said. “The CD has been receiving very good reviews worldwide — even from the family of the composer, who were in touch to congratulate me. I am honored to present his work to Oklahoma City.”

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