CVNC presents the Triad edition of  “Artists, Critics, or Audience: Who Knows Best?” on Saturday, May 12, at 3:30 p.m.  William Carroll, Asssociate Dean of UNCG’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance and also a board member, will serve as host for the afternoon of performance and discussion in the Organ Recital Hall on the second floor of the UNCG Music Building. Parking will be free for the event in the parking deck adjacent to the Music Building.

UNCG Professors John Salmon and Andrew Willis will provide the entertainment as a “Battle of the Keyboards” — Willis, noted for his mastery of early keyboard instruments (and particularly the fortepiano) will represent the historically-informed side of the pianistic house.  Salmon will represent the contemporary world of high-tension behemoths most listeners think of when someone says “grand piano.”  He will play some jazz and improvise on the spot  

Following the performances, the artists and CVNC critics will participate in a panel discussion. The critics will talk about how they analyze a concert, the artists will join the discussion as they talk about how they respond to reviews and their value to their professional reputations, and the audience will have an opportunity to respond to both.

CVNC writers who will participate in the panel discussion following the performances are Executive Editor John Lambert and CVNC critics Lynn Jessup, Peter Perret, and William Thomas Walker. A reception will follow.

About the artists

John Salmon has distinguished himself on four continents, as both a classical and jazz pianist.  Salmon has been at the forefront of performing new works by such celebrated composers as Dave Brubeck (who dedicated two compositions to Salmon), Nikolai Kapustin, and Lalo Schifrin. His performances and recordings (on the Phoenix, Naxos, and Albany labels) have been heard on radio stations throughout the U.S., including National Public Radio, WNYC in New York, and WFMT in Chicago; and on the national radio stations of Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, and countries throughout Europe. Special appearances include an all-Liszt recital in Mexico City for the American Liszt Society and an all-Brubeck recital in Washington, DC for the Music Teachers National Association.

John Salmon has been a member of the faculty of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Music since 1989. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The University of Texas at Austin; the Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School; the Solistendiplom from the Hochschule für Musik, Freiburg, Germany; and the Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts (philosophy) degrees from Texas Christian University.

Noted for his mastery of early keyboard instruments, Andrew Willis performs in the United States and abroad on pianos of every period. His recording of Op. 106 for the first complete Beethoven sonata cycle on period instruments was hailed by The New York Times as “a ‘Hammerklavier’ of rare stature.” He has also recorded Schubert lieder and Rossini songs with soprano Julianne Baird and early Romantic song cycles with soprano Georgine Resick.  Willis has appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Bloomington Early Music Festival, and the Magnolia Baroque Festival and has performed with the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, the Apollo Ensemble, and the Philadelphia Classical Symphony. A past president of the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society, he extends his investigation of historical performance practice into the Romantic era with performances on an 1848 Pleyel and an 1841 Bösendorfer, and into the Baroque with performances of J. S. Bach and Italian masters on a replica of a 1735 Florentine piano.

At UNCG, where he joined the keyboard faculty in 1994, Willis directs the biennial Focus on Piano Literature, for which he commissioned, premiered, and recorded Martin Amlin’s Sonata No. 7 (2000). Before receiving the D.M.A. in Historical Performance from Cornell University, Willis studied piano at the Curtis Institute of Music and at Temple University. For many years, he participated in the musical life of Philadelphia, serving as keyboardist of the Philadelphia Orchestra for several seasons. Before joining the UNCG faculty, he taught at Cornell, Syracuse, and Temple universities, and at Swarthmore and Franklin & Marshall colleges.

Bios of the critics participating in the panel discussion are available on the website along with bios of all of our writers.

Admission is free, but donations will be gratefully accepted. Proceeds from this event are fully tax deductible and will fund further website expansion and wider multi-disciplinary review coverage.