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Skidmore College

Fortepiano concert Oct. 4 in Zankel

October 3, 2013
federic lacroix
Frédéric LaCroix

Fortepianist Frédéric LaCroix will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, as the next artist in the Skidmore College Filene Concert Series.

The event is will take place in the College’s Arthur Zankel Music Center. LaCroix’s program includes Beethoven’s Grande sonata pathétique in C minor, Op. 13, by Beethoven; Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 13, by Hummel, and Sonata F minor, Op. 13, by Bennett.

LaCroix has performed in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia as a soloist, chamber musician, and collaborative pianist. He has appeared on Canada’s CBC and America’s NPR.

Following the University of Ottawa’s purchase of a fortepiano in 1997, LaCroix has devoted time to the study and performance of music on period keyboard instruments, for which he was recognized as the Westfield Center Performing Scholar for the 2008-09. He has recently performed Mozart piano concertos on the fortepiano with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra and the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra.

Intrigued by the seemingly infinite diversity of new music, LaCroix has collaborated with composers and performers in the premiere of a number of Canadian and American works. He has composed for the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, the Society of American Music, the Canadian University Music Society, and the Choeur Classique de l’Outaouais, among others. Much in demand as collaborative artist, teacher, adjudicator and composer, he currently teaches at the University of Ottawa. He holds degrees from the University of Montreal, the University of Ottawa, and Cornell University, where he is currently completing his doctorate in keyboard performance practice with Malcolm Bilson.

Asked to describe the sound of the fortepiano, LaCroix said, “While piano builders now aim to unify the sound of the instrument across the registers, pianos of the classical eras were known for their timbral variety. For instance, I find the sound of the bass electrifying, the tone in the middle range warm, flexible and slightly velvety and the higher range of the instrument is usually described as silvery.” The action of the instrument, he says, “is much less complicated than that of the modern concert grand. Therefore, the response to the touch is more immediate and finicky. It allows one to articulate as Mozart wrote it in the score.”

Admission for the Oct. 4 LaCroix concert is free for students and children, $8 adults, and $5 seniors and Skidmore community. For advance reservations please click here or call the Zankel box office (518) 580-5321 for more information. The Zankel Music Center is wheelchair accessible and offers listening devices for the hearing impaired. 

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