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"Karen Becker and Friends: An Evening of Russian Romance" to Feature Music for Piano Trio


Picture of Karen BeckerPLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (March 9, 2011) -- The SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Music will present a  "Karen Becker and Friends" concert Saturday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium, Hawkins Hall.

Pianist Dr. Karen Becker will perform music for piano trio in a program titled “An Evening of Russian Romance.” Joining her will be violinist Eric Grossman and cellist Lawrence Zoernig.

"I’ve been enjoying the opportunity to rehearse with such internationally acclaimed musicians. It's been really rewarding," Becker said. "We all graduated from Julliard at roughly the same time, so we have that experience in common."

The trio will feature music by two Russian composers of the Romantic era: Anton Arensky (1861-1906) and his pupil, Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943).

The “Karen Becker and Friends” recital series, based at SUNY Plattsburgh, is now in its sixth year. The series serves as a showcase for local and regional artists as well as visiting guest artists. Concerts are free and open to the public.

About Dr. Karen Becker

Becker is a pianist and assistant professor at SUNY Plattsburgh. Recent performances include a lecture recital series featuring the Beethoven sonatas at SUNY Plattsburgh and several concerts in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area with pianist Sonja Thompson. Becker spent the spring of 2010 at the University of Wisconsin studying the Beethoven cycle of 32 sonatas with her former teacher, Christopher Taylor, under the auspices of the Nuala McGann Drescher Affirmative Action Leave.

Regional performance highlights include appearances at SUNY Plattsburgh at Queensbury, as a guest artist on the Hill and Hollow concert series and on the Essex, N.Y., recital series and in collaboration with artists and students from the Meadowmount Conservatory. In 2007, Becker traveled to Cairo, Egypt, where she was a featured artist on the Ewart Hall Concert series at American University. Other recent performances include recitals in New York City, Long Island and Denver.

Becker is the current artistic director of Champlain Valley Voices and SUNY Plattsburgh Choral Union. She has served as music director for Lyric Scenes performances of “A Hand of Bridge,” “A Game of Chance” and “Classic Broadway;” for the Main Stage production of “Guys and Dolls” at SUNY Plattsburgh; and for the AuSable Valley Players productions of “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Anything Goes.”

Becker served as music director and conducted shows on tour at the Dillon Theater and at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in Colorado. In 2009, Becker was the music director for a full season of summer stock theater in Dillon, accompanying and conducting five shows in repertory. She has worked as a conductor and assistant conductor for the Colorado Symphony Chorus and as a pianist with the Colorado Symphony.

When living in New York City, Becker was a champion of contemporary music, playing premieres by John Cage and rarely heard music by Charles Koechlin and Eric Satie. She was a pianist with the American Opera Project at New York City Opera, appeared as a soloist for the Summergarden series at the Museum of Modern Art, performed as a keyboard player in the Philip Glass Ensemble and appeared as a featured artist on the Music from Japan series at Columbia University.

She holds degrees in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music and The Juilliard School, and a Ph.D. in musical arts from the University of Wisconsin. Her teachers include Christopher Taylor, Margo Garrett, Samuel Sanders, Robert Spillman and Ellsworth Snyder. She and her husband, Tony Galloro, share their home with their dogs Baxter and Dusty.
 

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