John McKay Returns to Present Piano Recital at Gustavus Posted on September 22nd, 2006 by

John McKay, professor emeritus of piano at Gustavus Adolphus College, returns to Jussi Bjorling Recital Hall on Saturday, September 30 to present a guest recital at 7:30 p.m. His program for this recital includes works by Mozart, Debussy, Chopin and Franck.

Dr. McKay opens the recital with Mozart’s Sonata in D major. K. 576, the final and most difficult of the eighteen sonatas Mozart wrote for piano. He continues with Chopin’s Sonata No. 3 in B minor, op. 58, a work considered by many to be the composer’s crowning achievement and one of the finest works for piano written in the 19th century. Following intermission, John McKay returns to the stage to present two works by Claude Debussy, Bruyeres and Reflets dans l’eau, written in the impressionist style popular at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. McKay concludes the performance with Cesar Franck’s Prelude, Chorale and Fugue.

John McKay retired from teaching in 2004 after teaching piano and music history at Gustavus for twenty-eight years. A native of Montreal, Canada, he earned his bachelor’s degree at McGill University and his graduate degrees at the Eastman School of Music. While teaching at the University of Toronto, McKay presented the compelte works for solo piano by Johannes Brahms in a series of four recitals at Toronto’s Town Hall. Beginning in 1986, he began a three-year, eight-concert series during which he performed all thirty-two of Beethoven’s piano sonatas. In 1989 he founded Minnesota Valley Sommarfest and has served as its artistic director for the past seventeen years. He has appeared as guest soloist four times with the Mankato Symphony Orchestra and was honored in 2000, along with his wife Sara, by the Minnesota State Arts Board for their service to music in their community.

Saturday’s recital by John McKay begins at 7:30 p.m. in Jussi Bjorling Recital Hall. It is free and open to the public. A reception will be held in the recital hall lobby following the performance.


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