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September 20, 2013
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

Piano trio honors women composers

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -"Lots of grandiose gestures, soaring melodies and lush harmonies" is how Nanette Kaplan Solomon, Slippery Rock University professor of music, describes the Slippery Rock Piano Trio's "Women Gone Wild" concert planned for 4 p.m., March 9.

Some might say the language also illustrates Solomon's piano playing and teaching methods. An SRU professor for 37 years, Solomon will retire in May.

"I would like to think of this concert as a continuum of my performances as a faculty member," Solomon said. "It is not my last performance on campus, and I hope to continuing to perform with the trio."

The trio, which includes Warren Davidson, SRU assistant professor of music, and Paige Riggs, SRU instructor of music, will perform music by 19th and 20 century composers Clara Wieck Schumann , Rebecca Clarke and Mana-Zucca, one of Solomon's compositional heroes.

The program includes "Trio in G Minor, op.17" by Schumann; two pieces for violin and cello by Clarke; and "Piano Trio, op. 40" by Mana-Zucca.

The concert, in SRU's Swope Recital Hall, is a benefit for the Dwight and Jeane Baker Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship helps incoming freshmen focusing on piano or strings.

Solomon said the title "Women Gone Wild" is tongue-in-cheek but does pay homage to women pioneer composers she admires, including Schumann, Clarke and Mana-Zucca.

"In their own way, each of them was a kind of pioneer," Solomon said. "They all broke barriers in some ways."

Solomon is an expert on Mana-Zucca, who composed more than 1,000 works.

Solomon said she admires Mana-Zucca's unapologetic individuality, spirit and status as a woman pioneer on piano. Solomon researched the composer's life and music during her sabbatical and has recorded her piano compositions.

Solomon joined SRU in 1977. She coordinates the piano program and teaches music history and classes about women composers.

An active performer, she has appeared in venues such as the Phillips Collection and the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., as well as Wigmore Hall in London. As an orchestral soloist, she has performed with the Youngstown and Pittsburgh Symphonies, and was chosen as a featured performer in the Pittsburgh Symphony's "Search for a Star" held at Heinz Hall under the auspices of the late Marvin Hamlisch.

Solomon has given numerous lecture-recitals and presentations at national and international conferences in Berlin, Germany, Vienna, Austria, Kyoto, Japan, Limerick, Ireland, and San Jose, Costa Rica. She also has been invited to perform at numerous women's and music conferences throughout the United States.

Davidson conducts the Slippery Rock Symphony Orchestra and teachers violin, viola and string classes. His special teaching interests are technical foundations of violin and viola playing, analysis of technical difficulties, effective practice regimens, tone production, efficient body use and musical understanding through musical analysis.

Riggs teaches cello. She has been principal cellist and soloist at the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival since 1999.

A minimum donation of $5 for SRU students, $10 for the public is requested.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.