CSUSB Fall Music Showcase featuring pianist coming Oct. 16
Office of Strategic Communication
The Cal State San Bernardino Fall Music Showcase series featuring pianist Danny Holt is on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Department Recital Hall (PA 102).
Tickets for the 2019-20 music season-opening concert are on sale at the Music Box Office (PA 145) or online at the music department website.
Holt’s “Eclectic Miniatures” program features four diverse sets of solo piano works spanning the 19th century to today. Beethoven’s Bagatelles, Op. 119 are among the great Classical composer’s last works for piano – a delightful set of miniatures that cohere together to create a unified piece.
Next, Holt has assembled a set of mostly Romantic miniatures, including works by 19th-century piano heroes Chopin and Brahms, alongside lesser-known works by Scriabin, Liadov, Kabalevsky, and Amy Beach.
The second half of the program showcases Holt in his element: performing works from the 20th century and today. The 20th century is represented by miniatures by Mompou, Satie, Honegger, Hovhaness, Tcherepnin, Casella, and Nancarrow.
The finale of the program features a suite of music selected from Holt’s forthcoming album, Piano Music of Mike Garson. Garson, who is known for his work with rock/pop icons such as David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, and Smashing Pumpkins, is a Los Angeles based composer with a uniquely eclectic musical voice. The works presented here show the composer paying homage to musical figures as diverse as Chopin, Ives, and David Bowie, and range stylistically from romantic to jazz.
Called “phenomenal” by the late music critic Alan Rich, and hailed as one of the “local heroes” of the Los Angeles music scene, Holt brings his boundless energy and wit to unique interpretations of new music, 20th-century music, and obscure, unusual, and neglected repertoire from past centuries.
Holt performs around the globe in concert halls (Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hollywood Bowl), clubs (Joe’s Pub, The Blue Whale, Copenhagen Jazzhouse), art galleries (MASS MoCA, Hammer Museum), churches, living rooms, and wherever else he can find a piano and someone to listen. Known for his no-holds-barred style, he has been called “the classical music equivalent of an extreme sports athlete” by The Record and “an artistic maverick who isn’t afraid to tackle tradition” on WWLP-TV.
Holt has held fellowships at the Bang On a Can Summer Music Institute, the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, and New England Conservatory’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice, and he has worked with such composers as Steve Reich, Louis Andriessen, Christian Wolff, James Tenney, Graham Fitkin, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Augusta Read Thomas, and Michael Finnissy, among others. He also proudly champions the works of emerging composers.
Holt has received awards and grants from ASCAP, Yamaha, the American Composers Forum, the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music, and others. He has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, Blue Man Group, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the California EAR Unit, and the Calder Quartet. He can be heard on the Innova Recordings label, pfMENTUM, New World Records, Deutsche Grammophon, and Wide Bench Records.
Holt’s acclaimed 2009 CD Fast Jump (Innova Recordings) was produced by Garson. Gramophone called the album “a compelling showcase for Holt’s innate virtuosity and gregarious temperament” and WNYC’s John Schaefer selected the CD as one of the best new releases of 2009.
Among Holt’s ambitious solo projects is The Piano/Percussion Project. More than 25 composers have created new works for Holt’s unique setup in which he plays piano and an array of percussion instruments simultaneously. When he’s not performing cutting-edge contemporary music, Holt enjoys curating programs of obscure repertoire from the 18th and 19th centuries, bringing rarely performed works and the unheard stories of lesser-known composers to audiences.
Holt holds degrees from California Institute of the Arts, Hampshire College, Smith College, and Interlochen Arts Academy. He is also a percussionist, composer, teacher, and scholar. He splits his time between Los Angeles and Desert Hot Springs, Calif., where he runs Desert Hot Springs Classical Concerts, an annual concert series for residents and visitors to the Palm Springs area.
In addition to maintaining a private studio of piano students, Holt is the chair of the music program at The Academy of Creative Education at the Oakwood School, and he is a scholar-in-residence at Harvard-Westlake School’s Kutler Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and Independent Research. He previously taught at CalArts, Smith College, College of the Desert, Norco College, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Cal State San Bernardino, and has performed and given guest lectures at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and the U.K.
Visit Danny Holt’s website to learn more, and follow him on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
To help fund Holt’s forthcoming album Piano Music of Mike Garson from Innova Recordings, visit his Kickstarter webpage.