Fri. Sep 29th, 2023

The LSU School of Music hosted “A Two-Piano Extravaganza” this past Sunday in Recital Hall. The concert featured a collaborative performance by professor of piano Michael Gurt and visiting Brazilian pianist Clelia Iruzun.

This performance was the first of many hosted by the School of Music this semester, showcasing the work of prominent 19th century pianists such as Johannes Brahms and Francisco Mignone.

Both performers are musical innovators in their own right and have extensive backgrounds in the study and composition of music.

Iruzun initially studied at the School of Music in Rio de Janeiro and went on to become an advanced student at London’s Royal Academy, where she won numerous awards. Since then she has made countless successful recordings and worked with other artists from all over the world.

Iruzun’s visit to Baton Rouge is a unique opportunity to experience the musical talent that Latin America has to offer. She played with a conviction that could be felt from the audience and made playing with another pianist look like a cakewalk.

Gurt is a Manship Distinguished Professor of Piano with decades of performance experience along with degrees from Julliard and the University of Michigan. Gurt has won several international competitions and performed as a soloist with big name orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Capetown Symphony.

Gurt’s passion for music also extends far beyond campus as he serves as a piano mentor at the National Music Festival held in Chestertown, Maryland each year and served as piano chair for the Louisiana Music Teachers Association. He also has numerous recordings and sits on the juries of piano competitions.

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To bring two such spectacular talents together for a performance was nothing short of engrossing. Gurt and Iruzun’s harmonies and talents melded together as they played together on stage.

The first half of the program consisted of allegros – or songs performed at a fresh pace. After the break, the duo chose a more somber mood and performed some compositions by the Russian pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff.

The audience erupted into applause after each song was performed. This successful venture reveals the number of multifaceted talents that grace the campus as well as the School of Music.

The College of Music and Dramatic Arts is LSU’s primary source of performing arts. The school hosts over 300 events annually and aims to make the performing arts accessible to all through the range of creative ventures it hosts and supports.

Everyone who takes the stage has unique skills to showcase and a backstory to share. To find out how you can support their efforts and the performing arts at LSU, visit the College of Music and Dramatic Arts website:

By Admin