UVM pianist tours in Asia

University of Vermont’s affiliate artist Paul Orgel will embark on his second solo piano tour of China from Oct. 17- 29. Before he leaves, he is bringing his program of early romantic music to the Burlington community in a preview concert at the University of Vermont’s Recital Hall on Oct. 16 at 3:30 p.m. “The featured work on my program is the Schubert Sonata No. 21 in B-Flat, D.960, his last sonata. I have known it for almost my whole life and find it to be one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written,” Orgel said. Orgel will also play Chopin’s “Barcarolle,” as well as “Waltz in A” and “Two Mazurkas” by Antonín Dvo??ák and “Invitation to the Dance” and “Perpetuum Mobile” by Carl Maria von Weber. Orgel is well-known throughout Vermont for his solo and chamber music performances and is acquiring national and worldwide attention. The Vermont Times called him “a pianist of power and grace.” In addition to China, Orgel has toured in Europe and here in the United States at venues such as New York’s Merkin Hall and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Orgel said. Orgel was educated at Oberlin, the New England Conservatory and Boston University and holds a doctorate in piano performance from Temple University. In addition to teaching private piano lessons here at the University of Vermont, Orgel is an organizer of the UVM Music and Literature Series. He is also the director of the Humanities Program Concert Series at Saint Michael’s College and on the faculty of the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival. Orgel has also taught piano at MIT and Wesleyan University, among other places. Orgel’s solo tour of China in the summer of 2010 was such a success that he has been invited back to perform and instruct master classes. “Although China does have a strong folk music tradition, it doesn’t have a classical music tradition of its own, and there is a huge interest,” Orgel said in an article that recently appeared in the Shelburne News. “Musicians and music teachers have prestige in Chinese culture; they value the strong work ethic musicianship requires and revere the achievement of something accomplished and beautiful, and they seem to particularly enjoy hearing this kind of 19th century, romantic classical music,” Orgel  said. Orgel’s performance this Sunday will be his only recital in the Burlington area this season.