James Cho

James Cho

NACOGDOCHES, Texas -The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present pianist James Cho in a guest recital at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

Currently on the piano faculty at Sam Houston State University, Cho was invited to present a recital of classical piano repertoire at SFA, according to Andrew Parr, professor of piano at SFA.

Cho's program contains some lesser-known pieces by J.S. Bach and Joseph Haydn, plus two Nocturnes, Op. 62, of Frédéric Chopin, which were composed near the end of his life, Parr said. The major work on the program is Igor Stravinsky's Three Movements from Petrushka, which Parr described as "a highly colorful and virtuosic piano work based on the composer's ballet of the same title."

"The ballet tells the story of three puppets brought to life only to discover that life can include love, jealousy, anger and hurt," Parr said. "The ballet was premiered by Sergei Diaghilev's famous Ballets Russes with Bronislava Nijinsky as Petrushka."

A pianist from southern California, Cho made his first appearance as the Young Artist's Guild winner where he performed numerous solo and chamber recitals. Cho earned his bachelor's degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, a master's degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.

In the competition scene, Cho has been successful at the Joanna Hodges International, the MTNA Collegiate Nationals and the New Orleans International, and he has captured first prizes on many occasions including at the Kingsville International, the Isabel Scionti and the Los Angeles Liszt International piano competitions. He has frequently performed at the Aspen Music Festival and also in Canada at the Centre d'Arts Orford.

Cho is often an adjudicator for many piano competitions and presents master classes at music festivals throughout Texas and Louisiana. His students have won scholarships to Montecito International Summer Piano Festival and top prizes in both local and national events, including the TMTA Young Artists Piano State Competition, Forum Competition in Texas and the MasterWorks Festival Concerto Competition in Indiana.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu.