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August 23, 2010


A piano sonata written by University of Maine at Fort Kent Professor of Music and Education, Dr. Scott Brickman, will have its world premier this weekend at the World Piano Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia.

Dr. Jenny Cruz, an assistant professor of piano at Central State (Ohio) University, will perform Dr. Brickman’s sonata as part of solo concert on Saturday, August 28, at the world conference in the eastern European republic.
Brickman’s 4th Piano Sonata, was written especially for Dr. Cruz. His new work is subtitled Def Row, slang for Definitive Row, a reference to the 12-tone rows that each of the work’s four movements are based upon. It also is a pun on the Death Row Record label.
“I will feel odd on Saturday the 28th, sitting here in Fort Kent knowing that someone is performing my music half-way around the globe. Serendipitously, I recently found out that my friend, pianist Nathanael May of Missouri Western State University, who performed a recital here at UMFK in March and premiered my 2nd Piano Sonata in Italy in 2006, will be turning pages for Dr. Cruz when she premieres my piece. I was able to establish a connection between these two music friends of mine, and it is a great feeling to know that they will forge a professional bond through my music.”
Although rooted in modernist classical music, Dr. Brickman’s composition was influenced by the work of a wide range of popular black musical artists, including Sam Cooke, Martha Reeves, B.o.B. and the Black Eyed Peas.
Chosen from over four hundred pianists from around the world, Dr. Cruz will perform a concert entitled, Black Music and Its Sphere of Influence, including music by William Grant Still (1895-1978), long known as the "Dean of American Negro Composers," and George Gershwin, in addition to that of Dr. Brickman.
Dr. Scott Brickman has been a member of the UMFK faculty since 1997.