University of Nevada, Reno professor, and one of northern Nevada's best-known musicians, James Winn, performs a never-before-heard musical piece in Nightingale Concert Hall this Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 25, at 2 p.m.
Although Winn's performances are nothing new to his students or the Nightingale Hall in the Church Fine Arts Building, playing at the University is always a unique experience.
"I love the ambience of the Nightingale Hall, and I especially like the piano I will be playing - a rebuilt, turn-of-the-century Steinway grand," Winn said.
Winn, a professor of music in the University's School of the Arts and Reno Chamber Orchestra principal pianist, will perform his own Piano Concerto, written for the RCO more than 20 years ago, as well as Burleske by Richard Strauss.
"It's always exciting to get to perform a piece one has composed oneself, whether for the first time or not," Winn said. "I haven't had the chance to play - or hear - my concerto in 20 years. In addition, this will be my first opportunity to perform Richard Strauss' Burleske. I learned it in college, was set to perform it."
Winn is excited to perform Strauss' piece for the first time. Shortly after learning Burleske, Winn was mugged and stabbed in the shoulder and was forced to drop the performance while he healed.
"So, this current outing has been a long time coming," Winn said.
Winn has been working for the University of Nevada since 1997. Before working for the University, James Winn made his professional debut with the Denver Symphony at the age of thirteen13, and has been performing widely in North America, Europe, and Asia ever since. Winn has been a solo pianist with the New York City Ballet, a member of the New York New Music Ensemble, of Hexagon, and the pianist and resident composer of the Telluride Chamber Music Festival.
A frequent guest with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Speculum, Washington Square Contemporary Music Series, Chamber Music Society of Sacramento, Group for Contemporary Music, Cactus Pear Chamber Music Festival, Nevada Chamber Music Festival, La Musica International Chamber Music Festival, and Bargemusic. Well-known as a specialist in new music, he has been involved in world premieres and premiere recordings by many renowned composers, among them, 13 Pulitzer Prize winners. In 2009, he received the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Winn is just one of the outstanding musicians, artists and faculty from the University's School of the Arts. These individuals contribute to the booming art culture, making a name for themselves both inside and outside of the classroom. In addition, guest lectures, musicians, sculptures, photographers, painters and other distinguished artists come from all over the world to experience the art community at the University. The School of the Arts offers many areas of emphasis for students including art history, ceramics, digital media, graphic arts, painting and drawing, photography and videography, printmaking and sculpture, music education, history and applied performance, dance instruction, performance and design technology, and more.
Maestro Theodore Kuchar will also lead the orchestra in a symphony by Mozart, as well as "Classical" Symphony by Prokofiev. After Sunday's performance, a "Dinner with the Maestro" will be held as a tribute to both Winn and Kuchar at Wild River Grille, 17 S. Virginia St., in downtown Reno.
For tickets and more information about the weekend's events and about the RCO season, contact the RenoChamberOrchestra.org or call 775-348-9413.