Aaron Masters, a senior piano major at SUNY Buffalo State, appeared at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in New York City recently.
On March 9, Masters performed pieces by classical composers Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt as part of an annual benefit for the Adamant Music School. The concert organizers were familiar with Masters after hearing him perform at Adamant’s idyllic rural Vermont location, as part of his Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship project on piano repertoire and historic programming trends.
“They telephoned him out of the blue with an offer to participate in their annual benefit, based on their first-hand knowledge of his work the previous summer. How many times in any artist’s life does such a call occur?” noted Carolyn Guzski, assistant professor of music who attended the March 9 concert and was thoroughly impressed.
“Aaron gave terrific performances of two classics of the Romantic period repertoire: Chopin’s Scherzo in C-sharp Minor, Op. 39 and La Campanella from Liszt’s Grandes Études de Paganini,” she said. “Liszt is commonly regarded as the greatest pianist in history. His music is fiendishly difficult, as it was composed to showcase himself.”
Master’s studio teacher, lecturer Marcella Branagan, said that such an appearance is exceptionally rare for an undergraduate.
“Most debut artists heard at Weill have completed their professional training and are poised for career entry in the field,” she said. “We are extremely proud of Aaron and know he has a promising piano career ahead.”
In 2011, Masters won the Music Department’s inaugural Concerto Competition, and he performed Camille St. Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Buffalo State Philharmonia at the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall.
“Aaron has consistently amazed me with his pianistic talent throughout his time at Buffalo State,” Guzski said. “He plans to pursue a graduate degree in performance. Given his extraordinary dedication, his future looks bright.”
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