Piano Series at UT Opens with Frances Renzi – Celebrating 75 years Young with a Special Concert Performance

Posted Sep 11th, 2015 by Dr. Michael Boyd  Category: Arts & Entertainment, Events,


The University of Toledo Department of Music welcomes pianist Frances Renzi to kick off its annual Dorothy MacKenzie Price Piano Series. Ms. Renzi is celebrating her 75th birthday with a special concert performance, Sunday, September 27 at 3 p.m. She will also present a master class Saturday, September 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon. Both events are free and will be held in the UT Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Ms. Renzi’s recital program will include Schumann’s Arabesque, Mozart’s Rondo in A Minor and Beethoven’s Sonata in A-flat Major. She will also be performing Ravel’s Sonatine, two of Chopin’s Nocturne’s and Debussy’s L’isle joyeuse.

“Frances Renzi has a way of making music come alive,” wrote Boris Nelson of the Toledo Blade. “Whether in recital, as orchestral soloist, or as chamber musician, her artistry remains apparent. She consistently enthralls critics and audiences alike.”

Pianist Frances Renzi has appeared as soloist with many orchestras including those of Dallas, Houston, Toledo, and the New Hampshire Music Festival. She has performed throughout North America, Taiwan, and China, giving recitals in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., the National Concert Hall in Taipei and the China Conservatory in Beijing.

An extraordinary chamber player, she frequently collaborates with distinguished artists, and is much in demand as a chamber music performer. She appears regularly as a featured guest artist on the Toledo Symphony Chamber Series and also performs each summer at the New Hampshire Music Festival. She was a founding member of the Toledo Trio at the University of Toledo and performed with them for 27 years.

She has recorded solo and chamber music for Centaur, Educo, Koch International, Musical Heritage Society, Azica, Audite, and Decca/Argo. Her numerous recordings have won critical acclaim and many awards in Europe and the United States. Her recording of 20th century etudes by American composers Ned Rorem, Vincent Persichetti, and George Perle received enthusiastic reviews. Fanfare Magazine described her playing as “…absolutely superb…crystal-like articulation, impeccable rhythmic precision, unflagging energy, and a truly remarkable understanding of these pieces…”

Her recording of chamber music of Paul Schoenfield was nominated for a Grammy. Her performances as a soloist and chamber musician have been broadcast on radio and television across the nation including a presentation on National Public Radio’s Performance Today.
She was a solo pianist for the New York City Ballet performing Stravinsky’s Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra and Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes and participated in the Stravinsky Festival at Lincoln Center.

A native of Texas, she received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Texas and her Master’s degree from the Juilliard School where she was a scholarship student of Rosina Lhevinne and Beveridge Webster. An experienced teacher as well as performer, she is Professor Emerita at the University of Toledo. In 2000 she received a commendation from the Ohio Senate honoring her outstanding university career of 27 years.

The usual November concert date in the Piano Series will make way for the special multi-pianist concert, “Coming Home…An All-Steinway Concert,” Sunday, November 15 at 3 p.m., which will feature Frances Renzi and Michael Boyd, as well as students, alumni and faculty. Tickets for this special concert are $10 each. They are available online at

Other pianists in the Series include Jose Lopez February 5th and 6th and Ryan Behan April 2nd and 3rd. Jose Lopez is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Keyboard Studies Program at Florida International University in Miami, Florida and is the President of the South Florida Chapter of the American Liszt Society at FIU, inaugurated in 2010. He has performed throughout the United States, Italy and Central and South America with orchestras, solo recitals, and chamber groups in concert halls, summer festivals such as the Music Festival of the Hamptons in New York and the Killington Music Festival in Vermont.

A versatile pianist and enthusiastic performer of chamber music, Dr. López was a founding member of the Dalbergi Trio, has collaborated as a member of FIU’s resident new music ensemble, the Nodus Ensemble, and was the orchestral pianist with the Florida Philharmonic for 13 years. He is currently active performing and recording new and old obscure works for piano and strings along with solo piano works.

Ryan Behan has won acclaim from audiences throughout the United States and Europe as an exceptionally versatile pianist. A lecturer at The Ohio State University, Dr. Behan has taught applied piano at the School of Music; he is also on the collaborative faculty of the Mozarteum International Summer Academy in Salzburg, Austria. In recent years he has presented bicentennial celebration concerts devoted to the solo, chamber and vocal literature of Franz Liszt, Frederic Chopin and Robert Schumann; as a strong proponent of new music he has premiered numerous works by living composers, with performances for the Society of Composers, Inc. and the Contemporary Music Festival in Columbus.

A winner in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, he has worked alongside many great instrumental artists and teachers including Heinrich Schiff, Umberto Clerici, Zachary DePue, Igor Petrushevski and Zakhar Bron, as well as American opera singer Grace Bumbry.

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