St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s musician-in-residence Brian Ganz will join music faculty member Beverly Babcock in kicking off the spring 2014 performance season on Thursday, Jan. 23, at 8 p.m. in the college’s Auerbach Auditorium of St. Mary’s Hall. The two will perform the finale of Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 11. The program is free and open to the public. 

“Chopin was 20 years old, the age of many of our students at St. Mary’s, when he wrote this rousing romp of a finale to his E minor concerto,” said Ganz. Ganz will also play several solo works of Chopin, including the rarely heard Variations Brillantes, Op. 12, and the sparkling and witty Scherzo No. 4. “The word ‘scherzo’ means joke in Italian, but the first three scherzos of Chopin are pretty serious affairs,” Ganz said. “In the fourth, Chopin shows that he is just as fluent with laughter as he is with tears.”