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Following the 2016 dedication of a storied Steinway Concert Grand piano that belonged to acclaimed pianist and cultural ambassador Van Cliburn, Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville established a concert series in the name of "one of this generation's brightest talents," museum executive director Rod Bigelow said. The Dec. 6 installment of the concert series features three virtuoso players -- Maki Namekawa, Aaron Diehl and Jenny Lin -- performing the works of influential American composer Philip Glass.

"My mission in performing his music has been to bring some of my own traditions inside of what he's composed -- whether it's improvisation, syncopation... -- a certain unique approach as a jazz pianist that maybe other pianists who are more in the new classical music or classical music traditions would [have]," Diehl shares ahead of the performance. Though not officially considered a jazz musician, Diehl says Glass' extensive knowledge of myriad genres has inspired his own work in the field of jazz.


Van Cliburn Concert Series

Philip Glass: Works for Piano

WHEN — 7 p.m. Dec. 6

WHERE — Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville

COST — $10-$50

INFO — 657-2335,

"There's a lot of structure, there's a lot of different methods and approaches to playing the language of jazz. And it's something that, as much as playing pieces in a repertoire by Chopin and Bach, it's something that takes years to master, to be great at. It's not quite as cut and dry as maybe some people try to make it out to be."

-- Jocelyn Murphy

NAN What's Up on 12/02/2018

Print Headline: Composer Celebrated


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