September 06, 2013

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Pianist Richard Becker will perform in concert Sunday, Sept. 22, at 4 p.m. in the Rooke Recital Hall of the Weis Music Building at Bucknell University.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, will include four works by Chopin, "Kreisleriana: 8 Fantasies, Opus 16" by Schumann; and "Four Poems of Emily Dickinson for Piano Solo" composed by Becker.

Head of piano at the University of Richmond, Becker is a pianist and composer whose playing has been acclaimed in Europe and America. Performing on many college campuses over the years, he has also toured the eastern United States and performed at Lincoln Center's Tully Hall, Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress, for the American Music Series at the National Gallery of Art and at the French Embassy. He has performed in Paris at the Salle Cortot where he was Laureate of the French Piano Institute, L'École Normale de Musique and Salle Edmund Michelet, a venue of Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris where he has five times been artist-in-residence in piano and composition.

Becker's music has been commissioned by Meet the Composer grants as well as grants from CRS Records. He has been a MacDowell Colony Fellow and nominee for an American Academy of Arts and Letters award.

His performances and his own music have been featured on NPR, Voice of America, WNYC, WETA, WGMS, and WCVE, and at the American Music Festival of the National Gallery of Art, and during his residencies at the Brattleboro Music Center, Vermont, Marshall University, Cité des Arts, Paris, at National Conferences of the Music Teachers National Association, the CMS-Mid-Atlantic Conference, on Brattleboro Music Center Summer Chamber Festival and Concert Series, and at residencies at the James Madison University Contemporary Music and Roxbury, N.Y., music festivals.

His playing has been cited for his "powerful interpretations" by the Washington Post, for being "admirable in taste and technique" by the New York Times, and for being "brilliant with seamless passagework and elegant phrasing" by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Becker's playing is grounded in the tradition of Arthur Schnabel acquired during his study with Leonard Shure while at Boston University (M. Mus.). His teaching owes much to the methods of Tobias Matthay, learned from Cecile Staub Genhart during his years at the Eastman School of Music (B.Mus. and Performers Certificate).

Becker has taught at the University of Texas and Boston University prior to joining the faculty at University of Richmond in 1975. His compositions have been recorded on CRS Records and his piano performance on Albany Records. He is a Board Member of the American Matthay Association for Pianists.

In recent years, Becker's poetry has been published by journals such as America, Columbia, and Cold Mountain Review. His poetic sequence, "FATES," was published as a chapbook by The Literary Review.