Bach Festival to include recital by international concert pianist

The Hesston College Music Department will host the first Bach Festival for pianists, organists and music lovers in the region on March 9 and 10. The festival will center on the works, life and times of the great Baroque master Johann Sebastian Bach.

Kicking off the festivities will be a recital by Frank Huang, assistant professor of piano at Miami University of Ohio (Oxford), an international concert pianist, at 7 p.m., Friday, March 9, at Hesston Mennonite Church on the Hesston College campus.

Described by “New York Concert Review” as a “thoughtful and accomplished performer” and that his playing was “impressive for its maturity and refinement,” Huang has gained international recognition for his artistry and technical command.

Huang’s performances have taken him to notable venues throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Gijon International Piano Festival in Spain, and St. Martin in the Fields in London. His concerts have also been featured on radio and television broadcasts in various cities, most recently, Italy’s RaiRadio 3.

Saturday’s Bach Festival and Organ Competition will feature young keyboardists age 18 and under who will compete in an Elementary Division (age 9 and under), Junior Division (ages 10 to 13) and Senior Division (age 14 to 18). The entrants perform one Bach work for judges who will offer written constructive critiques. Five finalists from each division will advance to a final public performance round at 2 p.m., in the Hesston Mennonite Church.

Three finalists from each division will receive prize recognition. A special scholarship award to continue study with Hesston College’s internationally recognized faculty will be awarded to the top high school senior participating in the competition.