Pianist George Francois performs at WVC

Professional concert pianist George Francois performs at WVC Oct. 29

Professional concert pianist George Francois will give a recital at 12 p.m. in The Grove Recital Hall, new Music and Art Center, on the Wenatchee Valley College campus on Monday, Oct. 29. This event is free and open to the public.

The 45-minute program will include six pieces: Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 23 and Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 52 by Frederic Chopin; ‘Malagena’ from Andalucia (Suite Espagnole) by Ernesto Lecuona; Widmung and Ava Marie by Liszt and Schuman; and The Beautiful Blue Danube by Andrei Schulz-Evler.

A native of Ghana, Francois has performed in Ghana, Germany, France, Great Britain, St. Lucia, and extensively throughout the United States. Now based in New York, he has played recitals at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, MOMA, Metropolitan Museum, Lerner Hall, St. Paul’s Chapel and the Yamaha Piano studios. He also performed to critical acclaim at the Ghana Jubilee Music Festival, both as soloist and chamber musician, including a command performance for John Kufuor, President of Ghana.

Francois’ collaborative partners have included award-winning violinist Rachel Barton Pine, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and soprano Rita Dove, acclaimed cellists Alexander Baillie and Sally Singer Tuttle, the late African drummer Obo Addy, Bobby McPherson, soprano Lauren Skuce, actress/singer Tamara Tunie, and actress/dancer Ana Asensio.

His recording, with cellist Sally Singer Tuttle and violinist Rachel Barton Pine, of African classical chamber music by J.H.K. Nketia will be released on the Con Brio label in 2013.

Francois received undergraduate and post-graduate diplomas in piano performance and professional performance license from the Royal Northern College of Music in the United Kingdom, a master of music degree at the University of Texas at Austin, and a doctorate in solo piano at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. Between master’s and doctorate degrees, he studied collaborative piano for two years with Samuel Sanders at the Juilliard School of Music.

Francois is the founder and executive director of Sankusem, a non-profit organization that brings the musical experience of the African village to the concert hall.

Francois will also instruct a master class that is open to the public.