CCM highlights alumni guest artists who will return to campus for the Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase in a series of alumni spotlight stories.
Anton Nel (MM Piano, 1984) is one of nearly a dozen CCM alumni who are featured guest artists in CCM’s Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase. An acclaimed Beethoven interpreter, Nel performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major at the concert, which takes place on April 21 in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium.
Winner of the first prize in the 1987 Naumburg International Piano Competition at Carnegie Hall, Nel enjoys a remarkable and multifaceted career that has taken him to North and South America, Europe, Asia and South Africa.
Following an auspicious debut at the age of 12 with Beethoven’s C Major Concerto after only two years of study, the Johannesburg native captured first prizes in all the major South African competitions while still in his teens, toured his native country extensively and became a well-known radio and television personality.
A student of Adolph Hallis, he made his European debut in France in 1982, and in the same year graduated with highest distinction from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He came to the United States in 1983, attending CCM, where he pursued his Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees under Bela Siki and Frank Weinstock. In addition to garnering many awards from his alma mater during this three-year period, he was a prizewinner at the 1984 Leeds International Piano Competition in England and won several first prizes at the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition in Palm Desert in 1986.
Highlights of Nel’s nearly four decades of concertizing include performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, the symphonies of Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Detroit and London, among many others. He has an active repertoire of more than 100 works for piano and orchestra.
An acclaimed Beethoven interpreter, Nel has performed the concerto cycle several times, most notably on two consecutive evenings with the Cape Philharmonic in 2005. Additionally, he has performed all-Beethoven solo recitals, complete cycles of the violin and cello works, and most recently a highly successful run of the Diabelli Variations as part of Moises Kaufman’s play 33 Variations. He was also chosen to give the North American premiere of the newly discovered Piano Concerto No. 3 in E Minor by Felix Mendelssohn in 1992.
Two noteworthy world premieres of works by living composers include Virtuoso Alice by David Del Tredici (dedicated to, and performed by Nel at his Lincoln Center debut in 1988) as well as Stephen Paulus’ Piano Concerto also written for Nel; the acclaimed world premiere took place in New York in 2003.
As a recitalist, he has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum and the Frick Collection in New York, at the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, Davies Hall in San Francisco and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Internationally he has performed recitals in major concert halls in Canada, England, France, Holland, Japan, Korea and South Africa.
Nel has performed at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, as well as at the music festivals of Aspen and Ravinia (where he is on the artist-faculties), Vancouver, Cartagena and Stellenbosch, among many others. Possessing an encyclopedic chamber music and vocal repertoire he has, over the years, regularly collaborated with many of the world’s foremost string quartets, instrumental soloists and singers. With acclaimed violinist Sarah Chang he completed a highly successful tour of Japan as well as appearing at a special benefit concert for Live Music Now in London, hosted by HRH the Prince of Wales.
Eager to pursue dual careers in teaching and performing, he was appointed to the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin in his early 20s, followed by professorships at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan, where he was chairman of the piano department.
In September 2000, Nel was appointed as the Priscilla Pond Flawn Regents Professor of Piano and Chamber music at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches an international class of students and now heads the Division of Keyboard Studies. Since his return he has also been the recipient of two Austin-American Statesman Critics Circle Awards, as well as the University Cooperative Society/College of Fine Arts award for extra-curricular achievement.
In 2001 he was appointed Visiting “Extraordinary” Professor at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, and continues to teach master classes worldwide. In January 2010 he became the first holder of the new Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Chair in Piano at the University of Texas at Austin. For the past two years he has been presenting a series of master classes in piano and chamber music at the Manhattan School of Music in New York as Visiting Professor, and also teaches regularly at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto.
His recordings include four solo CDs, several chamber music recordings (including the complete Beethoven Piano and Cello Sonatas and Variations, and the Brahms Sonatas with Bion Tsang) , and works for piano and orchestra by Franck, Faure and Saint-Saëns. His latest release features premiere recordings of all the works for piano and orchestra of Edward Burlingame Hill with the Austin Symphony conducted by Peter Bay.
Anton Nel became a citizen of the United States of America on September 11, 2003. He is a Steinway artist.
Learn more about the Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase concert and view a complete list of guest artists at ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/save-the-date/sesquicentennial-alumni-showcase.
SESQUICENTENNIAL ALUMNI SHOWCASE CONCERT
STRAUSS: Overture to Die Fledermaus (1874); featuring the CCM Philharmonia led by Christopher Allen
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 82 “Emperor” (1811); featuring Anton Nel, piano
SAINT-SAENS: Violin Concerto No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 61; featuring Yang Liu, violin
WAGNER: “Mild und leise,” from Tristan und Isolde (1859); featuring Tamara Wilson, soprano
Work for saxophone and jazz combo; featuring Janelle Reichman, saxophone
ROSSINI: “Cruda sorte,” from L’Italiana in Algeri (1813); featuring Helene Schneiderman, mezzo-soprano
SCHUMANN: Konzertstück for Four Horns, Op. 83 (1849); featuring Allene Hackleman, Julie Beckel Yager, Nathaniel Willson, Jennifer Paul, soloists
Musical Theatre numbers; featuring Betsy Wolfe, vocalist, with Roger Grodsky, conductor
STRAUSS: Champagne Song from Die Fledermaus
8 p.m. Saturday, April 21
Please note: UC’s Nippert Stadium will also host an FC Cincinnati game at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The full FC Cincinnati Soccer game schedule can be found at www.fccincinnati.com/2018-schedule.
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati
Tickets for CCM’s Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase Concert are $20 general, $15 non-UC students, and FREE for UC students with a valid ID.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online through our e-Box Office! Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.
PARKING AND DIRECTIONS
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for information on parking rates.
For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.
For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation