Pianist Lynne Mackey to Perform Nov. 1

lynne mackeyThe Sunday Recital Series at Mary Baldwin University will continue at 3 p.m. on November 1 in Francis Auditorium with pianist Lynne Mackey. She will perform works of Rachmaninoff and Messiaen, along with the great “Handel Variations” of Johannes Brahms.

“This program explores the ‘Romantic spirit,’” Mackey said, “even though not all composers are from the period we would traditionally label as 19th-century or ‘Romantic.’”  She will open with two beautiful pieces (from op. 118) by German composer Johannes Brahms, and follow with some exciting works of Sergei Rachmaninoff. Interestingly, although Rachmaninoff’s music sounds clearly “Romantic,” the Russian composer and virtuoso pianist lived well into the 20th-century.

Mackey will also share some colorful works of French composer Olivier Messiaen. She has recently been exploring Messiaen’s piano music and has chosen two preludes for this concert:  Un reflet dans le vent (“A reflection in the wind”) and La colombe (“The dove”). The latter prelude is one of many which reflect Messiaen’s fascination with birds. And the centerpiece of the program is another work of Brahms, the monumental Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Handel. Mackey explains that “renowned music scholar Sir Donald Tovey calls this magnificent piece ‘among the half dozen greatest sets of variations ever written.’ It truly is a work of grand scope and dazzling variety.”

Mackey has performed in the United States, South America, Europe, and Africa, and she also performs as part of the Commission for the Arts Touring Program. She recently spent a semester in Paris as the recipient of an artist residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, and she was also the first performing artist to be awarded an Appalachian College Association Fellowship (for a one-year residency at the University of Virginia in the field of contemporary music). She performs both solo and chamber music and regularly gives concerts as part of the Gee-Mackey Duo (with cellist David Gee). She is also a harpsichordist and serves as director of the Virginia Baroque Performance Academy.

Tickets may be purchased at the door and are $5 for the general public and $4 for students and seniors (free for Mary Baldwin students). Season tickets are also available. To purchase tickets online or find more information, visit the Music at Mary Baldwin page or call 540-887-7294.