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.

About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.