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Today: Boomgaarden to perform free concert of Chopin's mazurkas

June 7, 2013

Donald Boomgaarden, Ph.D., dean of the College of Music and Fine Arts at Loyola University New Orleans, will present a free concert of Frédéric Chopin’s mazurkas, today, June 7. The event is open to the public and begins at 2 p.m. in room 240 of the Communications/Music Complex, located on the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Calhoun Street.

The mazurkas, considered some of the composer’s most beloved works, are based on the traditional Polish dance. From 1825 until the time of his death in 1849, Chopin wrote at least 69 mazurkas, which were credited with signaling new ideas of nationalism and influencing fellow composers. Exquisite miniatures, the mazurkas open a world of musical ideas to the listener and reflect the romantic fascination with the exotic and distant past.

Boomgaarden, the David P. Swanzy Distinguished Professor of Music, joined Loyola in 2009 after serving five years as the assistant vice president for academic affairs at Loyola College in Maryland. In addition to his career as an educator and administrator, he has worked extensively as a composer, pianist and choral conductor. Boomgaarden is also a noted historian of 18th century opera, music aesthetics and harmonic theory. He most recently performed J.S. Bach’s entire “Goldberg Variations” cycle at Loyola.

“I’m thrilled to be performing these pieces of Chopin—they are unique and a special part of every pianist’s repertoire,” Boomgaarden said.

This performance is part of the second annual Alumni College, which is being held on Loyola's main campus this weekend. Alumni College participants can attend classes taught by Loyola’s outstanding current and retired faculty and sample recent research emerging from the university. When alumni are not in class, they have a chance to mingle at meals and social events with fellow participants, Loyola faculty and administrators.

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