Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2008-01-30

Composer and pianist Richard Faith will be featured in several performances at Samford University while Composer-in-Residence at the school during February.

Professor emeritus at the University of Arizona, Faith is the composer of operas, symphonic works, piano concerti, an oboe concerto, a mass, a cantata, chamber music, and many songs and piano works.

The celebrated musician will join soprano Suzanne Hopkins and baritone Joseph Hopkins in a recital of his songs on Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Brock Recital Hall. He will accompany the singers, and also offer a solo piano work.

Faith will join Samford music faculty and students on Feb. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Brock Recital Hall for a performance, "Richard Faith and Friends." The program will include songs, instrumental works, and scenes from three Faith operas: The Whydah's Gold, Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast. 

The public is invited to both performances, free of charge.

"Richard Faith is a brilliant musician who is gifted as both performer and composer," said Dr. Joseph Hopkins, dean of Samford's School of Performing Arts and a longtime friend.

"His music is at once elegant and insightful. His gift for melody is well-matched by his ability to fuse voice and virtuosic piano accompaniment." A graduate of Chicago Musical College and Indiana University, Faith received a Fulbright Grant to study piano and composition at the Academia de Santa Cecilia in Rome. He has performed recitals throughout the U.S. and Europe, and has been a soloist with a variety of orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony. Faith's work has been described by music critics as "freely tonal and neo-romantic [in] style" and "full of drama and tension, with beautifully etched phrases and sweeping lines." Recently commissioned works include Sextet for Winds and Piano, Suite ´Trouveres' for Harpsichord, Beauty and the Beast (opera), ´Creation' for Six Singers and Piano, and ´Incantation' for Soprano, Viola or Alto Flute and Piano. During his month at Samford, Faith will conduct master classes and students will showcase his works in several seminars.

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.