'Grand Finale' concert Wednesday at Gobin

Monday, August 13, 2007

Virtuoso Chilean pianist Eugenio Urrutia will perform the "grand finale" concert of the 2007 Greencastle Summer Classical Music Festival, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday Aug. 15 in Gobin United Methodist Church. 

Admission is free.  York Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Greencastle has been the Festival's major underwriter this summer, with additional support from the DePauw School of Music, Fine Print Books, the Walden Inn and Conference Center, other local businesses, and many individual donors.

Urrutia will perform the Sonata in F Minor by Johannes Brahms, and the first book of Claude Debussy's "Preludes."  "Eugenio performed on two programs our first season, in 2005," says festival organizer Eric Edberg, a DePauw music professor. "He was the big hit of the summer.  He has absolutely stunning technique, a ferocious intensity, and warm musicality. 

"And away from the piano, where he's such a powerhouse, he's about the nicest and most gentle guy you could ever meet."  

The concert will also be an opportunity to hear Gobin's piano after substantial revoicing work has been done on it by Michael Sowka, the technician who takes care of pianos for both DePauw and the Indianapolis Symphony. 

"The piano was getting quite bright, and our piano performers had mentioned it needed some work soon.  I asked our audience members to help us raise funds for the work, and they responded generously.  The financial support the festival has received from the community has been tremendous."

Wednesday's concert is the 11th in this summer's festival.

"We had six in 2005, seven in 2006, and now eleven this summer.  Next summer we will have at least 12, every Wednesday beginning May 28," Edberg said.  "I can't think of a better way to close this season than with a concert by Eugenio."

Born in Concepcion, Chile, Urrutia began his piano studies and his formal studies of theory and harmony with his father Luis Urrutia. 

At the age of 11, Urrutia made his concert debut with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Concepcion and in the following year won the Claudio Arrau International Piano Competition and Concurso Jovenes Talentos.

In 1994 he began his studies at Columbus State University, Georgia with Betty-Anne Diaz and later at Butler University, Indianapolis, with artist-in-residence Panayis Lyras, participating in important Master Classes with Lee Luvisi, Anton Kuerti, Stephen Hough, Brice Morrison, John Browning, John O'Connor, Vladimir Feltzman and The Diaz Trio.

As a recitalist and chamber musician, Urrutia has performed an extensive repertoire in South America, the United States and Germany collaborating with violinists Alexander Kerr and Lorey Courney, cellist William Grubb, clarinetist David Bellman and bandoneonist Peter Soave. 

As a soloist, he has performed with the Butler Symphony Orchestra, Columbus State University Orchestra, The National Youth Symphony Orchestra of Chile, the New Millennium Orchestra of Indianapolis, The Akron Youth Orchestra, LaGrange Symphony (Ga.), Orquesta Sinfonica de Concepcion, Orquesta Clasica de Santiago (USACH), Akron Symphony Orchestra, Die NordwestDeutsche Philarmonie in Germany, and the ProArte Chamber Orchestra of Indianapolis, collaborating with conductors Wilfried Junge, Luis Urrutia, Patricio Cobos, Kypros Marcou, Toshiyuki Kamioka, Luis Gorelik, Mathew Kendall Kraemer and Stanley DeRusha.

Urrutia has been radio and television broadcasted in his native Chile more than a dozen times and has also videorecorded the Liszt B-minor Sonata for the Pencopolitan Project 2010.

He is also co-founder and artistic director of The ProArte Chamber Orchestra of Indianapolis.

Urrutia was featured in a recital in Ojai Valley, Santa Barbara, Calif., to commemorate the centennial celebration of Hungarian pianist Lili Kraus.

He has done premieres of works by composer Paul S. Chihara and has just premiered the piano-string quintet "Encuentros" by renowned Chilean composer Juan Orrego-Salas.  

Urrutia is an active teacher and has given master classes at academic venues and festivals here in the United States and in his native Chile.

Among his piano teachers are Marcella Mazzinni, Betty-Anne Diaz, and Panayis Lyras. Urrutia is Director of Cultural Activities and Artist in Residence for SADCO Indianapolis.

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