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. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 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 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.