Piano program Saturday at Heidelberg to combine classic, contemporary pieces


A piano recital Saturday by Heidelberg University’s Margarita Denenburg is to combine a joyous Mozart sonata, a nostalgic Chopin nocturne and a contemporary nod to Cleveland by Ohio composer Gerald Evans.

Denenburg, assistant professor of keyboard studies in the School of Music & Theatre, is to perform the recital at 7 p.m. Saturday in Brenneman Music Hall. The free event is open to the public.

Also on Denenburg’s program are two Domenico Scarlatti sonatas in contrasting natures and the energetic and passionate “Kreisleriana” by Robert Schumann. The featured piece, “Urban Excursion,” is by contemporary composer Evans and inspired by famed locations in the city of Cleveland.

Denenburg explains that “Urban Excursion” is a three-movement work designed to introduce students to 20th century techniques in harmony, melody and rhythm. Its movements are titled “West Side Market,” “The Shelter” and “The Flats,” each trying to capture the emotion of the location.

The piece was written with the intent to draw emotional inference and connection with the performer and listener, Denenburg said.

Evans has been on the music faculty of Lorain County Community College for 28 years. He is an active conductor, performer and composer whose concentration is on contemporary music.

Denenburg joined the Heidelberg faculty in 2012 and is a researcher, presenter and performer. She has won several campus and statewide awards for teaching effectiveness and has published articles on piano pedagogy. The two are frequent collaborators on two-hand piano.