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Thursday February 23, 2017
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Pianist Anton Nel

 

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he came to the United States. Fresh out of the University of Cincinnati, he was appointed to the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin. Then he did a professorship at the Eastman School in Rochester. Then he ran the piano department at the U-M in Ann Arbor. And currently he's heading keyboard studies back in Austin.

But even before he embarked on a teaching career that anyone would be proud of, Nel was winning awards as a pianist, first in South Africa and then at the 1984 Leeds Competition and the 1987 Naumburg Competition. And since graduating, Nel has played recitals around the world and appeared as a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra and the symphonies of Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Detroit, London — and Ann Arbor, where his March 10 performance of Rachmaninoff's Paganini Rhapsody left the audience melted in their seats. Even though he's left Ann Arbor for Austin to teach, Nel still comes back every now and then to play.

This year, in addition to everything else, Nel's been polishing a sweet program of Haydn, Debussy, Granados, and Schumann in recitals around the country. Before taking the Schumann portion of the program to San Francisco's Palace of the Legion of Honor in June, he'll bring it to Kerrytown Concert House on Saturday, May 19.

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