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Pianists reunite for classical works at NMSU

A duo piano collaboration at New Mexico State University is reuniting two lifelong friends. For the first time in 20 years, nationally recognized pianist Laura Spitzer will take the stage with renowned pianist Antoinette Perry in a performance of international works. The recital, which begins at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 18, in Atkinson Recital Hall, is free and open to the public; however, donations for piano scholarships will be accepted.

Headshot of Laura Spitzer
Laura Spitzer, resident pianist at New Mexico State University, will perform her second recital of the year at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 18, in the Music Recital Hall.
Headshot of Antoinette Perry
Accomplished pianist Antoinette Perry will partner with nationally recognized pianist Laura Spitzer for a piano duo at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 18 in the New Mexico State University Music Recital Hall.

"Our recital is filled with song and dance with the accent of many lands," said Laura Spitzer, resident pianist and associate professor of music in the College of Arts and Sciences. "There is German, French, Spanish, Russian and American music. It is a beautiful bouquet of styles."

With two Steinway concert grands positioned end to end, the duo will perform six pieces including Rachmaninov's "Russian Rhapsody," Bach's "Sheep May Safely Graze" and "Lindaraja" by Debussy.

"The second half of the program is all dances," Spitzer said. "Bolcom's 'Recuerdos' is a jazzy interpretation of three traditional Latin-American dances. The fast movements are kooky and witty, and the middle movement is a sensuous tango. The last piece of the program, 'La Valse' by Maurice Ravel, is a waltz that starts quietly and builds to a frenetic close."

Spitzer has toured throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Austria and Germany. The recipient of four touring grants from the Nevada State Council on the Arts and the Nevada Humanities Committee, and a Steinway artist, Spitzer traveled by truck with a Steinway in tow from 1984 to 2003, bringing classical music to rural communities and schools throughout the U.S. and Canada.

She has been featured on ABC and NBC news in the U.S. and Canada, and in such publications as People, Time, Reader's Digest and Clavier magazines. Spitzer joined the NMSU faculty in 2000.

Antoinette Perry, born to professional musicians, gave her first public performance at the age of four. Since then, she has appeared throughout the U.S. and Europe as a soloist and chamber musician, collaborating with many of the world's greatest artists, including John Perry, Leon Fleisher, Ralph Kirshbaum, Ronald Leonard, Froydis ReeWekre and actors Michael York and Walter Matthau.

Having participated in festivals throughout America, Perry has been heard often on NPR's Performance Today, the Bravo! Channel and Continental Airlines' In-Flight Programming.

She has performed in more than 100 festival concerts during her 25-year tenure as artist-faculty at the Aspen Music School. She taught at UCLA for 12 years before joining the piano faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music, where she holds a full-time position. She returned to UCLA as adjunct piano faculty in 2011.

"As I get older, I am more and more intent on pursuing the activities which enrich my life the most," Perry said. "Playing this wonderful music with Laura Spitzer, an enviable musician who happens also to be my close friend, is way up there on my list. I am loving this!"

"Antoinette and I performed as duo pianists many years ago, and I'm very excited to be collaborating with her again," Spitzer said. "She is a fabulous pianist and profound musician with a wide expressive palette, and also one of my dearest friends."