When concert pianist Christopher O’Riley comes to Georgia Regents University, students and community members will not only get the chance to hear one of the nation’s foremost concert pianists, they’ll be able to hear him working with members of two different student ensembles as well.
As part of the 47th annual Lyceum Series, O’Riley will perform with the GRU Women’s Choral Ensemble and the GRU Orchestra at the Maxwell Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 7.
“We were looking for a way to better engage our students in our Lyceum productions,” said Kelly Thomas, Director of the Maxwell Theatre. “Christopher O’Riley and what he does just fit in so well.”
Aside from being respected as a conventional concert pianist, O’Riley is also known for his arrangements of popular music (he’s revered in some circles for receiving the only four-star review ever given by Rolling Stone to a classical pianist) as well as for being the host of NPR’s popular “From the Top” program, where he interviews young classical musicians.
After starting the concert with solo pieces, he’ll perform Joni Mitchell songs with the GRU Women’s Choral Ensemble. After the intermission, he’ll perform the well-known Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor with the GRU Orchestra.
“I encourage people to look it up on the Internet,” Thomas said. “It’s one of those pieces everybody knows.”
In addition to the concert, which is free for GRU students, $5 for faculty and staff, and $15 for the general public, O’Riley will hold a Meet the Host workshop at the theater on Thursday and a piano Master Class at noon on Friday.
“Master Classes are really neat, because you get to see the performers blossom right before your eyes,” Thomas said.
Both of the pre-concert programs are free and open to the public.
This is the final performance in this season’s Lyceum Series, which included a stop by the Second City comedy group, a french film festival, and the Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble.
For tickets or more information, visit the Maxwell Theatre website here.