The keys of success

. May 24, 2012.

Louis Nagel returns to the Kerrytown Concert House in July for four programs, two lectures and two concerts of the music of Franz Schubert. Professor Nagel has been on the faculty of the UofM School of Music piano department since 1969, (he will serve as interim Dean of the department for the fall 2011 term) and has been performing regularly at the KCH almost since it first opened in 1984. He recalls his first concert there, a lecture recital of the Beethoven Tempest Sonata, as being a career event. The format was relatively new for him at the time. “People enjoyed it, and it confirmed for me how much I enjoy talking about the music.” He will have an especially enjoyable time talking about the music for these Schubert programs, because one of the pieces he’ll play, the B-flat Major, D. 960 Sonata, “is my favorite piece in the whole wide world—and anything beyond!” He first encountered it at the age of twelve and still recalls what he felt like when he heard Rudolf Serkin play the opening melody in concert. “It has to be heaven sent. It’s one of those tunes that washes over you and immediately becomes part of your soul.” These KCH concerts will also give him an opportunity to expand his repertoire. “Two of the other sonatas I’ve never played in public.”

Nagel, whose teaching and performing career has taken him throughout North America and Europe, loves to return to Ann Arbor and the KCH, especially during the summers. “In the summertime I play music I love.” And the KCH, with its world-class piano and intimate seating is ideal for his favorite teaching/playing format. “It’s like my house. There is this special comfort with the audience. I can interact with them, rather than play for them. There’s an ‘us-ness’ there.”

In the two free public lectures on the day before each of the concerts, Nagel will focus on Schubert’s music and will also discuss how a pianist prepares for a performance. For tickets, dates, times, and details, please visit www.kerrytownconcerthouse.com