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Solon Pierce will bring his love for music to Fuller Lodge at noon Tuesday, as he performs during the Brown Bag Series concert. Pierce was born in Plymouth, Wisc. and began playing piano when he was 10 years old.
“My mother started my brother and myself playing piano,” Pierce said. “We started out having lessons before school at 7 a.m.”
He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, where he worked with Robert McDonald. He also holds a master’s degree from The Juilliard School, where he worked with Jerome Lowenthal and Abbey Simon.
Pierce has done further studies with Howard Karp at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Grant Johannesen and Diane Walsh at the Mannes College of Music. He completed doctoral work at the University of Minnesota, where he worked with Alexander Braginsky.
Pierce has performed frequently in his native Wisconsin, including appearances with the Festival City Symphony of Milwaukee and the Madison Symphony, and in television and radio broadcasts for Wisconsin Public Radio, to include, “Sunday Afternoon Live from the Elvehjem,” Iowa Public Radio, Radio Denmark in Copenhagen and the WFMT network, Chicago.
Pierce has performed extensively in the United States, Canada and Europe with recent performances at the British Music Information Centre in London, Magdalen College and Maison Francaise of Oxford University, the Foundation Danoise in Paris and other appearances including Copenhagen, Stockholm, Odense, New York, Boston, Chicago, Vienna, New Orleans, Tampa, Honolulu, St. Louis, Louisville, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, San Diego and Toronto.
An ardent advocate of neglected and new music, his performances have included New York and world premieres of works of Kaikhosru Sorabji, John Cage, Gunnar Johansen, and Nicholas Brown.
He describes his favorite type of music as that which is “off the beaten path, meaning music that isn’t heard as often as other types.
“I also am partial to American composers (Gershwin, Bernstein, Beiderbecke, Joplin, etc.) and the wonderful traditions of music in this country,” he said.
Pierce became aware of the Brown Bag Series through the Los Alamos Arts Council’s Web site.
“I saw the pictures of Fuller Lodge and it looked like a wonderful setting in which to do a concert,” he said.
This will be Pierce’s first trip to New Mexico.
“I have always been keenly aware of Los Alamos’ importance in our nation’s history and the wonderful natural beauty you have there in New Mexico.”
Before his performance at Fuller Lodge, Pierce will perform at Aspen Ridge Lodge. He also is performing at the University of Texas-El Paso, in San Diego and in Los Angeles.
“I very recently lost my mother to metastatic cancer and these performances will certainly be in her memory,” Pierce said. “Although she was not a musician herself, I owe so much to her in all ways. She was a truly wonderful person and will always be in my heart.”