Pianist Returns to Kansas for Trio of Concerts

Pianist Returns to Kansas for Trio of Concerts

Kansas native Landon Wilson will journey back to the Sunflower State early next year, performing solo piano recitals to benefit local organizations in three communities. Dubbed the “Homecoming Recital Tour,” these performances come as a culmination of Wilson’s study at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he is a senior.

The three-city tour kicks off Saturday, February 3 at Colby’s United Methodist Church, continuing Sunday, February 4 at Christ Cathedral in downtown Salina, then later that same Sunday at the First United Methodist Church in Minneapolis, Ks, Wilson’s hometown. All recital proceeds will be donated to local organizations as follows: the Thomas County Community Foundation in Colby, Christ Cathedral’s Welcome Table program in Salina, and the Ottawa County Music Club and the Ottawa County Arts & Humanities Council in Minneapolis.

Wilson’s recital program is a synergy of works old and new, interspersing classics by Mozart, Ligeti and Robert Schumann alongside contemporary works by Unsuk Chin and György Kurtág. The concert trio includes the Midwest premiere of Anthony Cheung’s 2009 work Eusebius and Florestan, alone together, which revisits Robert Schumann’s interchangeable active (Florestan) and passive (Eusebius) personalities.

Performed almost entirely without pause, the recital forms a larger piece within itself. “It plays with spontaneity, humor and intimacy- almost resembling portraiture,” says Wilson. “I drew inspiration from the evocative work of German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans, somehow making sense of Kurtág’s work with Tillmans’ magnetic aesthetic.”

Wilson has received the President’s Award at the Manhattan School of Music (MSM) in New York, where he graduates in May with a Bachelor of Music in Classical Piano. He also has participated in master classes at the Mozarteum Internationale Sommerakademie in Salzburg and audited coursework at the Darmstädter Ferienkurse. His teachers include Jeffrey Cohen and Tatiana Tessman, with composer Reiko Füting as a close mentor.

In addition to studying at MSM and Barnard College, Wilson is a budding arts administrator and producer, recently creating performances at National Sawdust, The Clark Art Institute, and Carnegie Hall. Last year, he joined the interdisciplinary collective AMOC* (American Modern Opera Company) as Company Manager. He has spent recent summers interning at Southern California’s historic Ojai Music Festival, where he was named the Rothenberg Production Fellow in 2023.

“While developing this program for my graduation recital, I felt an urgency to stray from the traditional structure of a formal piano recital and chose to opt for something more personal and introspective,” Wilson says. “I discovered Kurtág’s growing ten volumes of microminiatures called Játékok (“Games” in English), finding in them a sense of fearlessness––almost a rawness––with flexibility for the performer to rearrange as they please.”

In the second portion of the recital, Wilson deconstructs Robert Schumann’s opus 12 and uses Játékok as a “glue” to bind them together, showing an intimate look into the dynamic interpersonal lives of Robert/Clara Schumann and György/Márta Kurtág.

The Homecoming Recital Tour is supported by the Thomas County Community Foundation, Ottawa County Arts & Humanities Council, and Christ Cathedral. Admission is by donation, suggested at $25 for ages 10 and up. For interview or photo inquiries for Wilson, contact Kay Quinn at kquinn80@icloud.com or at 785 416-0759. For more information on the artist and his work, visit www.landonwilson.studio or christcathedralsalina.org.

Concert Program:
UNSUK CHIN Étude no.6: Grains (for Pierre Boulez) (2000/2003)
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Sonata in B-flat major, K.281: I. Allegro (1775)
ANTHONY CHEUNG Eusebius and Florestan, alone together (2009)
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Sonata in B-flat major, K.281: III Rondo. Allegro (1775)
GYÖRGY LIGETI Étude no.8: Fém (1989)
GYÖRGY LIGETI Étude no.11: En suspens (for György Kurtág) (1994)

GYÖRGY KURTÀG selections from Játékok: Diary entries and personal messages (1973-2021)
ROBERT SCHUMANN Fantasiestücke, op.12 (1837)

GYÖRGY KURTÀG selections from Játékok: Diary entries and personal messages (1973-2021)
ROBERT SCHUMANN Fantasiestücke, op.12 (1837)

Saturday, February 3, 2024 @ 7:30 pm
United Methodist Church
950 S. Franklin Ave
Colby, KS 67701

Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 4 pm
Christ Episcopal Cathedral
138 S. Eighth St
Salina, KS 67401

Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
First United Methodist Church
418 N. Rock St
Minneapolis, KS 67467

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