November 17, 2009

Duo to present piano recital on Nov. 18

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Yuko Kato, assistant professor of piano at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, presents a duo piano recital with guest Penny Johnson.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, in the Old Baptist Foundation Recital Hall. The performance is free.

Kato described the selections as comprising an eclectic program of many styles from current North American composers, from minimalism to ragtime.

“The program requires us to play with our arms as well as stomping with our feet,” she said.

The program includes three movements from the Sonate pour deux pianos, Op.6, composed by the Canadian musician Jacques Hétu, a set of four piano rags by composer William Bolcom, and single selections from composers John Adams and Frederic Rzewski.

Kato’s ongoing performance career takes her to some of the most prestigious venues in the United States, including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and Carnegie Hall. Her Carnegie Hall debut garnered praise from the New York Concert Review. Kato has many awards to her credit as well, including a full bursary scholarship to the Dartington International Summer Program in England, and in Canada at the Aria International Music Academy. She also earned awards at the Artists International Competition in New York.

Kato earned her graduate degrees at the Manhattan School of Music, and her Bachelor of Music at Northwestern University, where she held the Margaret E. Dadian scholarship.

Johnson, an outstanding graduate of the doctoral program at the Manhattan School of Music, teaches at several community music schools in Toronto, where she also maintains a private studio. She is a freelance accompanist and coach, and she serves as a contributing author for the Glenn Gould Foundation.

Johnson also has teaching experience at the Royal Conservatory of Music, the Manhattan School of Music and the Eastman School of Music, among other schools. Her performance credits include the Kunstuniversität in Graz, Austria, the Espace St. Laurent in Verneuil, France and the Notre Dame Cathedral in Ottawa.