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Explorations Preview: Keane Southard’s 2nd Piano Sonata

August 2, 2010

Wednesday Explorations will feature Keane Southard’s Second Piano Sonata.  Here’s a little on Keane and the piece…

Keane Southard (b. 1987) has had compositions performed by ensembles such as the Cleveland Chamber Symphony and the Algonquin Regional High School Choir. He has been a recipient of many awards including the Student Composer Award Winner for the 2006 American Art Song Competition, a 2007 Victor Herbert/ASCAP award from the National Federation of Music Clubs, the Lee Goldstein Composition Award from Baldwin-Wallace College, and the Cecil Effinger Composition Award from The University of Colorado-Boulder and has twice been a finalist for the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. Keane is currently a first-year Masters student at the University of Colorado-Boulder studying music composition where he serves as a graduate assistant in music theory. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with his B.M. from the Conservatory at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, OH, where he double majored in music composition and music theory with a minor in english literature. His composition teachers include Kenneth Girard, Loris Chobanian, and currently Daniel Kellogg. In the summer of 2009, Keane was selected as a participant in the Northeastern University Fusion Arts Exchange, where he studied composition with Brian Robison and Hillary Zipper.

As a pianist, Keane has focused his piano studies on unknown/under-performed repertoire, including works by Ives, Finzi, Rzewski, Gottschalk, as well as premiering his own works and those of his colleagues. His piano teachers include Barbara Jones and Robert Mayerovitch.

I began composing my Second Piano Sonata in February of 2006.  At that time I was going through a difficult time that turned out to be a period of great inspiration and productivity for me compositionally.  I wrote the beginning material of the first movement and decided to create a larger-scale sonata in an overall dissonant and freely-chromatic language; something I had never attempted before.  By the fall of 2006, I had completed the fourth (then planned as the third of three movements) but set aside the piece to work on several other pressing projects.  I came back to the work in 2008 determined to finish it.  The second movement was completed in the early summer of 2008, the third at the end of the same summer, and the first at the end of September 2008.  This recording is from 11/9/2008 at Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, OH, with myself, the composer, at the piano.

You can also head over to his website at www.keanesouthard.blogspot.com, and don’t forget to tune in August 4th at 8:30pm in the usual spots  (www.wrsu.org or locally at 88.7 fm).

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