Pianist, composer and teacher Walter Saul opens FPU concert series
A pianist and a piece of music make their California premiere as Fresno Pacific University’s Pacific Artists Series opens its second season.
Walter Saul will perform Friday, September 19 at 8:00 p.m. in the atrium of McDonald Hall, on the FPU campus. Tickets are $5 for general audiences, $3 for those 62 or older and $10 for families, and are available at the door.
Saul, a pianist and composer who joins the FPU faculty this year as music department chairman, will perform his From Alpha to Omega, a set of 24 preludes and fugues composed in each of the major and minor keys. The work joins a revival of tonality and counterpoint in the manner of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Well-tempered Clavier and Saul is one of a handful of composers, including Bach, Dmitri Shostakovich and David Diamond, who have written complete cycles of preludes and fugues.
The Philadelphia native began composing music at the age of seven. Saul has won two Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) Student Composers Awards, as well as several honors from the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC).
As a Mary Duke Biddle Scholar at Duke University, Saul was the first student to win Duke’s Henry Schuman Music Prize for composition three times. Graduating summa cum laude, he earned his doctorate in composition at Eastman School of Music.
Saul’s composition honors include 14 American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) awards, two Burlington Northern Faculty Achievement Awards in Scholarship at Warner Pacific College and Warner’s Kendall Award for Scholarship. He has been named Composer of the Year by the Music Teachers Associations in North Carolina and in Oregon, and was twice among 10 composers selected to participate in the Ernest Bloch Composers Symposium in Newport, Oregon. His works have been performed in 16 states and three nations.
As a pianist, Saul has performed both books of Bach’s Well-tempered Clavier from memory, presenting Book I in 1975 and Book II in 1997. Saul separated the concerts by 22 years to mirror the amount of time between the publications of Bach’s books. Saul has been heard on radio in four states. Saul has taught at Eastern Illinois University, Pfeiffer College and Warner Pacific College.
FPU is located at 1717 S. Chestnut Avenue, just south of Butler Avenue. For further information regarding this concert or the four other performances in the Pacific Artist Series, please contact the Music Office at 559-453-2267