Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2008-03-11

Famed pianist Ralph Votapek will play works by Mozart, Chopin, Debussy and Kapustin at Samford University Thursday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m. in Brock Recital Hall.

Gold medalist of the first Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and winner of the prestigious Naumburg Award, Votapek will also conduct a master class during his Samford visit.

The concert program will include W.A. Mozart's "Sonata in B-flat Major," Frederic Chopin's "Nocturne in C Minor," "Tarentelle," and "Fourth Ballade in F Minor"; Claude Debussy's "Masques," "Estampes" (Pagodas, La Soiree dans Grenade and Jardins sous la Pluie), "Nocturne in D Flat," and L'isle Joyeuse"; and Nikolai Kapustin's "Variations."

A frequent performer with major American orchestras, Votapek has appeared more than 16 times as guest soloist with the Chicago Symphony. He was the soloist on the late Arthur Fiedler's final Boston Pops recording. His latest release is Ralph Votapek Plays George Gershwin.

Votapek studied at Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School. He serves as Artist-in-Residence at Michigan State University in East Lansing.

"It is an honor to host Ralph Votapek, one of America's great talents," said Samford School of Performing Arts dean Dr. Joseph Hopkins. "Our students, faculty, and community look forward to the many opportunities to learn from this master musician in concert, master class, discussion and informal gatherings."

Votapek's master class at Samford will be at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 28, in Brock Recital Hall. The public is invited to the class free of charge.

Concert tickets are $25, $20 and $15, and are available at For information, call (205) 726-2851.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.