The College of Arts and Architecture

Pianist Christopher Guzman with guest artist Anton Nel

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Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 7:30pm
Esber Recital Hall - University Park, PA

Free admission

Penn State piano faculty member Christopher Guzman performs a two-piano recital with guest artist Anton Nel, a piano faculty member at the University of Texas-Austin. This public recital is presented as a part of the Marian Garcia International Piano Competition and Teacher Workshop. Hosted by the Penn State School of Music's piano faculty, the event typically includes competitions for collegiate and high school pianists, masterclasses, music teacher workshops, and recitals. The festival was created through a generous grant of Edith Garcia, mother of local physician Dr. Marian Garcia.

The concert is available on livestream at Penn State School of Music.


Fantasie für eine Orgelwalze, K.608 ♦ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, arranged by Ferruccio Busoni

Six Pieces in Canonic Form, Op.56 ♦ Robert Schumann, arranged by Claude Debussy

  • Pas trop vite  
  • Avec beaucoup d’expression
  • Andantino
  • Espressivo
  • Pas trop vite
  • Adagio

Variations on a Theme by Paganini ♦ Witold Lutoslawski

Eight Variations on an Original Theme, D. 813 ♦ Franz Schubert

La Valse ♦ Maurice Ravel

Anton Nel, winner of the first prize in the 1987 Naumburg International Piano Competition at Carnegie Hall, enjoys a remarkable and multifaceted career that has taken Anton Nelhim 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, Nel 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 the University of Cincinnati, where he pursued his master’s and doctorate 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 prize winner 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.

Nel’s active repertoire includes more than 100 works for piano and orchestra. Highlights of his nearly four decades of concertizing include performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, the symphonies of Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Detroit, and London, among many others. 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, the complete cycles of the Beethoven 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 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 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 (Queen Elizabeth and Wigmore Halls in London), France, Holland (Concertgebouw in Amsterdam), Japan (Suntory Hall in Tokyo), Korea, and South Africa.

A favorite at summer festivals, he 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 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 twenties, 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 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 masterclasses 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. During the 2015-16 season, he presented a series of 12 masterclasses in piano and chamber music at the Manhattan School of Music in New York as a visiting professor.

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 César Franck, Gabriel Fauré, and Camille 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.

chris guzmanPianist Christopher Guzman regularly performs for audiences throughout North America, Europe and Asia, as soloist and chamber musician. He is a multiple prizewinner in many international competitions, including the Walter M. Naumburg Competition, the Seoul International Music Competition, and the Isang Yun Competition of South Korea. Recently, he garnered the grand prize and several special prizes at the 10th Concours International de Piano d’Orléans of Orléans, France. As a result, he regularly travels to France to perform in Paris and throughout the Loire Valley. His CD of German and Austrian music from the past one hundred years, Vienne et après, was released in March 2014 on the Tessitures label.

Guzman’s career has brought him to such venues as Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Kennedy Center, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, and others. He performs regularly with some of the world’s most exciting soloists including Ilya Gringolts, Antoine Tamestit, David Fray, and Jeremy Denk, among others. He continually performs with members of the world’s finest orchestras, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2013, he was a guest artist on the New York Philharmonic’s chamber music series “Philharmonic Ensembles.”

His performances showcase a broad range of styles, from Baroque to the avant-garde. He continues to collaborate with many of the nation’s preeminent new music ensembles; his performances have included world premieres by Donald Martino, Nico Muhly, and Paul Schoenfield. The New York Times hailed his performance of Christopher Theofanidis’s Statues as “coiled” and “explosive.”   

Born in Texas, Christopher Guzman began studying piano at age nine and violoncello two years later. He worked primarily with Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald at the Juilliard School, Anton Nel at the University of Texas at Austin, and the late Patricia Zander at the New England Conservatory. He is an assistant professor at Penn State.