On Thursday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m., pianist Christopher Taylor will perform at Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church in Johnson City.
Christopher Taylor is primarily a solo pianist but also performs with major symphonies all over the world. The program will feature Beethoven’s eighth symphony, other works by Russian composer Nikolai Kapustin and pieces by Franz Schubert.
“He performs all nine of Beethoven’s symphonies that were transcribed by Franz Liszt for piano – considered by many to be the most technically demanding piano music ever written,” said Anita DeAngelis, Mary B. Martin School of the Arts director.
Taylor mixes classic old music with more contemporary tunes in creative ways and is very innovative with what he selects to perform and with his instruments.
“In the Van Cliburn competition, Taylor performed J.S. Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations,’ which had been written for a double-keyboard harpsichord, on a single keyboard piano,” said DeAngelis. “He’s also known for performing on a double-keyboard Steinway piano and invented the Hyperpiano, also called the Frankenpiano.”
From this invention, he gained the pseudonym “Frankenpianist.”
An artistic genius in every sense of the phrase, Taylor has achieved much recognition for his musical talents. He won the Kapell Competition, an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Bronze Medal at the Van Cliburn Competition.
Beyond music, Taylor excels in other fields, too. He is currently a professor of Piano Performance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a degree in mathematics from Harvard University. He’s also an avid computer programmer in the final steps of creating a new computer language and continues to design new types of keyboards.
“It’s important for students to understand that artists often work across disciplines,” said DeAngelis on why ETSU students can benefit from attending the Frankenpianist concert.
Tickets are $5 for students of all ages, $20 general admission and $15 for seniors 60+.