The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Immediate

Kenneth Drake will play Classical piano program Sept. 21

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Kenneth Drake, a specialist in performance on the fortepiano -- the piano of the classic era -- will play a program of music by the Viennese classic composers at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol on the University of Iowa campus.

Drake's performance opens the 1997-98 series of keyboard recitals sponsored jointly by the UI School of Music and the Iowa City Early Keyboard Society. All recitals in the series are free and open to the public.

Other performers in the 1997-98 series will be Nanette Lunde, harpsichord, at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Senate Chamber, and organist Kim Heindel, at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. April 19 in the Krapf Organ Studio of the Voxman Music Building.

For his Sept. 21 concert Drake will perform the Rondo in A minor, K 511, and the Sonata in A minor, K. 310, of Mozart; Haydn's Sonata in C major, Hob. XVI/48; and Beethoven's Six Variations, op. 34, and Sonata in D minor, op. 31 no. 2.

The word "fortepiano" is applied to instruments that are originals or copies of instruments from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. They differ from the modern concert grand piano in several respects, with the result that they have a lighter and more transparent sound that is especially suitable for the music of that period.

Drake will perform on a fortepiano built by John Lyon of Eastepointe, Mich., and modeled on instruments by Anton Walter, an instrument builder who was active in Vienna in the late 18th century. It is known that Mozart played Walter fortepianos, and Drake's instrument is based specifically on Walter fortepianos preserved at the Mozart birth house in Salzburg, in Linz, Austria, and at Eisenstadt castle, where Haydn was employed.

Drake has been on the piano staff of the School of Music of the University of Illinois since 1973. Before moving to Illinois he was on the faculty of Drake University in Des Moines, where he was a member of the Fine Arts Trio.

For 40 years he has promoted the use of period pianos for the music of the classic era, making him one of the earliest exponents of the fortepiano. In appearances at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada he has given recitals and workshops using the Walter copy and fortepianos manufactured in the early 19th century by the English maker Broadwood. Additional performances have been at four seasons of the Cambridge (Mass.) Early Music Society, the Michigan Mozartfest and conventions of the Music Teachers' National Association (MTNA).

Drake's doctoral dissertation was published by MTNA as "The Sonatas of Beethoven as he Played and Taught Them," and later reissued by Indiana University Press in its series on early music performance. Indiana also published Drake's "Beethoven Sonatas and the Creative Experience" in 1994.