Grammy-nominated pianist Petronel Malan will perform a recital of music spanning 250 years to showcase not only her own talents but also those of the Shigeru EX Concert Piano - one of only four in the continental U.S. - Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the University of Southern Mississippi’s Mannoni Performing Arts Center Auditorium.
This concert is being presented free, though donations are encouraged to support an effort to purchase new pianos for the Southern Miss School of Music. It is the featured event of the university’s partnership with the Kawai Corporation and The Elite Performing Instrument Collection (EPIC) that will result in replacing almost the entire 85-piano inventory in the School of Music over the next 10 years with brand new loaner pianos, purchased at a substantial discount.
“All undergraduate music students begin piano their freshman year and continue through completion of their degree,” said Dr. Michael Miles, director of the School of Music. “Based on the past purchase history, it would have taken 142 years to replace all of the pianos in the School of Music. This ambitious timeline is possible due to the extraordinary cooperation and vision of the Kawai America Corporation in their support of our needs as an institution of musical excellence.”
In cooperation with the USM Foundation, a private and corporate fundraising initiative is planned to start immediately with a goal of $500,000 to replace the pianos.
“Private fundraising is so important, because the more that is raised, the better quality instruments will be available for purchase through the program.” said Lonnie Young, longtime piano technician for the School of Music. “This is a student-centered project that affects every major in the department. I’m excited for the students to have quality instruments that support their talent.”
A native of South Africa, Malan debuted with the Johannesburg Symphony at age 10 and subsequently won all major national competitions before moving to the U.S. to further her studies. Her career was launched following five gold medals earned in 2000 at international piano competitions throughout the U.S., including the Louise McMahon, Missouri Southern, Los Angeles Liszt “Budapest Concert” and Hilton Head International Piano Competitions.
Malan also garnered the grand prize in the 2000 Web Concert Hall Competition and gold medals in both the Grace Welsh Piano Competition and the Entergy Young Artist Award. Lauded by reviewers as an unmistakably creative force in the classical music industry, her critical acclaim culminated in the nomination of three Grammy® Awards.
The other star of the evening promises to be the Shigeru EX Concert Piano. This instrument is conceived as a next step in the evolving art of the piano - each one striving to be better than the last, with fewer than 20 crafted each year for the entire world. The piano for this performance is being shipped directly from its last performer, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
For more information, contact the Southern Miss School of Music at 601.266.5543.