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“Affirming the future of new music”

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The Jacksonville University College of Fine Arts hosted a concert by professional pianist Paul Barnes, Ph.D. on Feb. 9 in Terry Concert Hall. Barnes showcased a program called “New Generations: The New Etudes of Philip Glass and Music of the Next Generation.” This program was highlighted by compositions from Philip Glass played by Barnes and a mix of songs composed by mostly younger musicians. The concert was open to all and the night included a few hours of solo playing followed by the opportunity to meet and talk to Barnes.

Barnes is a professor of music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and also teaches during the summer at the Vienna International Piano Academy. The program he played at JU was a recital version of his 12th CD bearing the same title as the program.

He is an internationally renowned musician, having performed throughout Europe, China, Korea, Taiwan, Russia, the United States, and more. His work has been praised by the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle and he has been featured on the cover of APM’s (American Public Media) Performance Today four times. Additionally, he was featured in the Nebraska Educational Telecommunication’s production “The Lewis and Clark Concerto,” which won an Emmy for Best Performance Production.

Barnes spoke in between most of his sets and was very open with the audience composed mainly of music students, faculty and admirers. In speaking about the program, he said that the motivation behind this project was to work with younger composers. He has been working on the project for two years and the title “New Generations” speaks to the age of those younger composers. Barnes called the project, “A way of affirming the future of new music in our country,” and admits that one composer he collaborated with was as young as 21 years old, which serves as a benchmark for youth in his work.

Barnes’ performance offered a combination of teaching and enjoyment that was evident throughout his performance. The night ended with a meet and greet where attendees were allowed to pick Barnes’ brain and pose for pictures.

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“Affirming the future of new music”