November 23, 2017

Kraus Presents to Rappahannock Music Society

On Monday, April 3, at 11 a.m., Andrew Kraus, Adjunct Professor of Piano at the University of Mary Washington, will present “An Introduction to Peter Feuchtwanger’s Piano Exercises for Curing Playing-Related Disorders in Pianists as Well as for Learning a Functionally Natural Behaviour in Piano Playing” for the Rappahannock Music Society(http://www.rappahannockmusicsociety.org/) in the theater of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.

Mr. Kraus has performed as a soloist across the U.S., Europe and Asia in recitals. Elke Walter, writing in the Frankische Landeszeiting on April 25, 2014, wrote about Kraus’ premiere performance of his Henselt in Context concert in Bavaria: “Kraus proved to be like a sensitive ‘piano whisperer’ …nimbly acrobatic with his fingers at the keyboard…the pieces…were equally played out with the same radiant vitality. With his highly sensitive interpretive art, Kraus succeeded in presenting a touching tribute to the Schwabacher piano virtuoso, Adolph von Henselt – and simultaneously piano music of the Romantic. First class.”

Follow him on Facebook at Andrew Kraus, Pianist where he blogs, post links to current and upcoming performances. His recordings are available through CDBaby and Amazon.com. He can be reached by email at akraus@umw.edu.

Kraus Performs in Memorial Concerts in Germany

Adjunct Piano Professor Andrew Kraus traveled to the Black Forest region of Germany last week to play in two concerts memorializing his mentor, Peter Feuchtwanger, who died in June.

He closed the evening program on Aug. 31 in the ornately decorated “Baroque Hall” at the Eiztalmuseum in Waldkirch (http://p23515.typo3server.info/)  with “Evening Music,” a group of pieces played for a UMW audience in his faculty recital at Dodd Hall last spring. Eighteen pianists in all played in this event. He is shown in the leftmost photo of Row 2 in the attached photo.

Peter Feuchtwanger, 18 Former Students and Audience Members in the Baroque Hall, Eitzal Museum, Waldkirch

Peter Feuchtwanger, 18 Former Students and Audience Members in the Baroque Hall, Eitzal Museum, Waldkirch

Earlier that day, he joined 15 other pianists, also former students of Peter Feuchtwanger, for a performance of Carl Czerny’s transcription of Rossini’s “Overture to Semmiramide” at Piano Haus Lepthein in Freiburg.  They played on 8 grand pianos arranged in a semi-circle around the audience.  Kraus tells us that a video of the performance has been planned, and he will post about it when complete.

 

Kraus Releases New Singles on Tunecore Label

Andrew Kraus, Adjunct Professor of Piano, releases two new “singles” this month on the Tunecore label.

Deep River is played in an arrangement by Calvin Taylor, a noted African American pianist, arranger and pedagogue, from his collection Spirituals for Worship, and is available from iTunes, Amazon.com and other outlets as a digital download starting June 10.

January, from Stone Rose, a collection of pieces by Ola Gjeilo,  was originally written for cello and piano. Kraus’ performance is scheduled for digital release from iTunes, Amazon.com and other outlets starting June 17.

Kraus is grateful to two of his students for introducing him to Taylor and Gjeilo, and he believes the stories of how these composers and their works came to him through his students is evidence of the value in being a member of the vibrant community of scholars and artists at the University of Mary Washington.

It was Benjamin Jones, a commuter student, who introduced Kraus to Calvin Taylor and his arrangement of Deep River. Jones had heard Taylor play at the church he and his family regularly attend in Stafford, loved what he heard, got fired up to the point where he parted with some hard-earned and all too scarce cash to purchase Taylor’s Spirituals for Worship, showed up with it at his next lesson and asked as he sat down at the piano, “Would it be OK if I learned this piece?”  Kraus played through the piece, loved it, and said, “Absolutely, and, do you mind if I learn it too?”

Similarly, Lucas Chandler, another of Kraus’ students who recently graduated, brought Stone Rose, a set of piano pieces by Ola Gjeilo, to one of his lessons earlier this spring, and asked what Kraus thought of them. Reading through a few of them with him, Kraus was again smitten.  When he asked Chandler how he had discovered Gjeilo, Chandler told him that he had been introduced to Gjeilo’s oeuvre through his choral music by yet another member of the UMW community, Jane Tavernier, who had programmed some of Gjeilo’s music in a concert by the UMW Chorus. Kraus asked Lukas if he would mind if he learned several and recorded them. The answer was, “yes,” and January is the first of several in Stone Rose to be recorded and released by Kraus.

Kraus Joins Ukrainian Musicians for Memorial Benefit Concert at Ukrainian Embassy

Adjunct Instructor of Piano Andrew Kraus joins Gerdan members Solomia Gorokhivska, violin, and Andrei Pidkivkha, flute, for a “Heavenly Hundred” concert to benefit United Help Ukraine.

The program features music of a variety of types: “classical music” jazz, and Ukrainian folk and popular music including Miroslov Skoryk’s classic Melodie.

As written on the United Help Ukraine website, “This year marks the second anniversary of the mass shootings on Maidan during the Revolution of Dignity, Ukraine’s fight for freedom. The Embassy of Ukraine in the USA, Gerdan and United Help Ukraine invite you to a charity concert to commemorate the Heavenly Hundred who gave their lives for free Ukraine. Please come and support Ukraine. Silent auctions and a reception to follow.

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Book Donation is Music to UMW’s Ears

A definitive book of Russian music has been donated to the University of Mary Washington. The work “The Beauty of Belaieff,” which includes over 100 full color plates of first editions of Russian music and individual biographies, is now available in Simpson Library. UMW Piano Instructor Andrew Kraus holding “The Beauty of Belaieff.” “It will be a wonderful resource for our students and faculty to use when researching Russian music history and its composers,” said Special Collections Librarian Carolyn Parsons. “The volume is not only an excellent work on the history of Belaieff’s Russian music publishing house, but it is also a beautiful book with 144 color reproductions showcasing the works of many Russian composers of the late 19th and early 20th century.” The book donation is the product of a friendship between UMW Piano Instructor Andrew Kraus and Gillian Davis, the widow of the book’s author Richard Beattie Davis, who was an avid collector of first and early editions of Western and Russian music, including the works of Adolph Von Henselt. The friendship developed after Davis discovered that Kraus is one of a few pianists in the world who play Adolph Von Henselt’s music. Henselt, a German who worked in Russia in the 1800s, is known as a founder of the Russian school of pianism. “I’m thrilled to get [this book] for UMW and to have it in the library,” said Kraus. “Not every library will have it, and it could be used as a spring board for other artistic events.” Kraus plans to play a concert in the spring, “Henselt in Context” to commemorate the donation. Click here to view the embedded video.

Kraus’ Recording Accepted for Streaming on Pandora

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Andrew Kraus

Piano Instructor Andrew Kraus’ performance with Raleigh-based Soprano, Jennifer Paschal, of Benjamin Britten’s “On this Island,” currently available through iTunes, CD Baby, etc., was just accepted for streaming on Pandora. An update will be posted when streaming begins after classification by Pandora’s Music Genome service.  Tracks from his CD, Music from the Golden Age of the Piano continue to stream on Pandora as well as being available for download through the usual digital providers.

 

Henselt in Context at 26th Annual Feuchtwangen Piano Festival

Henselt and Kraus

Henselt and Kraus

Pictured here with the commemorative statue of Adolph von Henselt in von Henselt’s home town of Schwabach, Germany, Adjunct Piano Instructor Andrew Kraus presented a recital, Henselt in Context, in the “Stadt Kasten” as a featured soloist in the 27th Annual International Feuchtwanger Piano Festival in Feuchtwangen, Germany on April 23. The program featured 17 pieces pairing works by Adolph von Henselt with those by better known composers including Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, and Liszt.

Kraus is recognized for the warmth and “heart” in his playing. In the words of one of the Feuchtwangen attendees, “…I had the feeling that [name redacted] plays very well, but without a heart, and at your concert, my heart was happy…”.

The venue for the series was the Stadt Kasten, a half timbered structure located in the main church square of the city, originally built in 1565 as a barn. Today, the building is used for concerts, plays and other cultural events year round.

Kraus plans on presenting this recital to the UMW community during the next academic year.