ST. MARY’S CITY, Md. – On Thursday, April 20 at 11:15 a.m., St. Mary’s College of MD Musician-in-Residence Brian Ganz will be joined by another member of the SMCM community, Beverly Babcock, in a performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major. Mr. Ganz will play the solo piano part and Ms. Babcock will accompany him on a second piano in a reduction of the orchestra part. The concert, which will take place in the Recital Hall of the new Performing Arts Center, is free and open to the public. For more information, call (240) 895-4498 or visit Brian Ganz PianoTalk, Apr. 20 | St. Marys College of Maryland (smcm.edu).
“There are few genres where one can identify a specific masterwork as The Greatest,” pianist Ganz said recently. “But I would say that this is one case where it’s fully justified: I believe Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto is the greatest ever composed. It has everything: gorgeous melodic ideas, superb craftsmanship, dramatic storytelling- especially in the second movement, scintillating writing for the piano, innovation- as it is the first piano concerto to begin with the piano all by itself, and much more,” he continued. “I’ll speak about the concerto and together Beverly and I will demonstrate some ideas at the piano. Then we’ll play it in its entirety.”
Ganz has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the National Philharmonic, the Baltimore and the National Symphonies, the City of London Sinfonia, and L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo. He has performed in many of the world’s major concert halls and has played under the baton of such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pinchas Zukerman, Jerzy Semkow and Yoel Levi. A critic for La Libre Belgique wrote of Ganz’s work: “We don’t have the words to speak of this fabulous musician who lives music with a generous urgency and brings his public into a state of intense joy.”
Beverly Babcock has spent her life in the world of music, beginning her piano studies at the age of five with Bristow Hardin in Norfolk, Virginia. Later she received her M.Mus. Degree in Piano Performance from Peabody Conservatory, where she studied with Ellen Mack and Leon Fleisher. Her post-graduate studies were with John Owings, pianist in residence at Indiana University of South Bend. An accomplished pedagogue herself, Ms. Babcock maintained a private studio for many years before teaching at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and at Andrews University in Berrien Spring, MI. She joined the music faculty at St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 1999, where she was the Resident Accompanist, working with voice students, instrumentalists, and accompanying the Chamber Singers. She has frequently accompanied piano concerto competitions and has played with students for the Maryland State Music Teachers Association, the Frederick Symphony Orchestra, the National Philharmonic, the Ylda Novik Concerto Competition, the Young Musician Competition at Catholic University of America, and the National Symphony Orchestra. She has been the organist at several churches in the Washington, D.C. area. She has also played for vocalists in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competitions for many years, and regularly accompanies Messiah performances. For many years she was a faculty member in the Piano Festival By the River held at St. Mary’s College with colleagues Eliza Garth and Brian Ganz.