Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA School of Music director to present 'Three Centuries of Keyboard Sonatas'

September 20, 2011 - Sylvia Bierschenk
John Noel Roberts, director of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music.
NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - John Noel Roberts, director of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music, will present a faculty recital, "Three Centuries of Keyboard Sonatas," at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

"The sonata is an important compositional genre for the keyboard," said Roberts, "and performing examples of sonata form from three centuries allows the listener to compare the use of the genre by different composers."

"For example, Joseph Haydn's 'Sonata in B minor, H. XVI:32,' from the 18th century, displays the composer's inventive daring, freedom of rhythmic structure, and humor, while Johannes Brahms' 19th century 'Sonata in F sharp minor, Op. 2' displays Brahms' warmth of tone and virtuosic brilliance," Roberts said.

Roberts will also play Charles Ives' "First Sonata," which explores many early 20th century compositional techniques, using familiar hymns such as "Bringing in the Sheaves" and "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," explained Roberts.

Fred J. Allen, SFA director of bands, will narrate each movement of Ives' work, using actual notes from the manuscript as well as other sources written by the composer.

Prior to accepting the director position for the SFA School of Music in 2009, Roberts was the artist-in-residence and head of music at the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music of the Edith Cowan University. He has also served on the faculties at Furman University, South Carolina, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and was the inaugural dean of the Townsend School of Music at Mercer University in Macon, Ga.

Roberts, who earned his doctoral degree from the Yale University School Music, has performed in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, India, Australia, Italy, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Japan and Malaysia.

Roberts just released his latest compact disc, "Alec Wilder, Music for Piano," with Albany Records.

The recital is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music and is a part of the 2011-2012 Cole Performing Arts Series. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Dr.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $2 for students. For tickets or more information, please go to www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.