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TAMIU Prof Solos with Philharmonic Posted: 10/04/16

TAMIU Prof Solos with Philharmonic

 

Dr. Fritz Gechter
TAMIU pianist Dr. Fritz Gechter performs here Oct. 16  

Dr. Fritz Gechter, associate professor of Piano at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU), will perform as piano soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 3 in C minor Op. 38 with the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra on Sunday, October 16 at 3 p.m. in the TAMIU Center for the Fine and Performing Arts’ Recital Hall.

Dr. Gechter is no stranger to the concert stages in Laredo, having performed many solo recitals since his appointment at the University in 1998. He last performed as a recitalist as part of the Steinway Series in 2014.

“Performing Beethoven is a special experience for me,” said Gechter, “I have always had an affinity for the raw energy, the transcendent nature and the intellectual power of this great composer.”

Gechter comes from Washington and his mother was a gifted amateur musician.

“When I was about eight, my mother suggested that we would get a piano and I could take lessons. It was the start of a great love affair with music that has been my life ever since,” Gechter said. 

Throughout his school and college years, Gechter followed his mother’s example and played the cello, while he continued to take piano lessons. As a teenager he won a competition to perform the first movement of the Beethoven 3rd Piano Concerto with a local youth orchestra. 

Gechter earned his Masters and Doctorate under the tutelage of Dr. Gregory Allen at The University of Texas. While attending UT, he competed in another Concerto Competition, playing Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto. 

He was hired at Laredo Community College as a professor of Piano in 1997, and in 1998 moved to TAMIU, becoming the first full-time music professor at the University. 

The music of Beethoven is very special to Gechter. Having first experienced the great composer’s music while a young piano student, he has had a lifelong passion for studying and performing the composer’s most challenging and engaging works. His doctoral dissertation was focused on the last of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas.

“Of the five concertos for Piano and orchestra by Beethoven, this one stands alone,” said Gechter.  LPO conductor and music director Brendan Townsend, concurred, adding, “It is a pivotal work in the life of Beethoven and straddles the period when he was moving towards his most mature compositions, while losing his hearing.”

Townsend and Gechter share a passion for Beethoven’s music. In 2012 they collaborated to perform three of the sonatas for Cello and Piano in a recital at TAMIU. 

“This concerto, like the 5th symphony, is in c minor, and that tonality seems to speak to Beethoven in ways that stir up his fiery emotions,” remarked Gechter, adding “while inspired by the Classical forms and traditions of Mozart and Haydn, this work was unlike anything heard before then.” 

For tickets and more information about this concert, visit the Laredo Phil website, or call 956.326.3042.