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October 24, 2003

Pianist William Westney To Give Free Recital At SMU's Meadows School Of The Arts, Oct. 30

DALLAS (SMU) - Internationally-known pianist William Westney will give a free recital at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30, in Caruth Auditorium, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. He will perform works by Schubert, Chopin and Bartók, as well as Duke Ellington's "Caravan" and William Bolcom's "Graceful Ghost Rag" and "Eubie's Lucky Day." No tickets are required. For more information, call 214-768-1951.

Westney was the top piano prizewinner at the Geneva International Competition, and he appeared thereafter in European television broadcasts and as a soloist with such major orchestras as L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Houston, San Antonio and New Haven Symphonies. Westney holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queens College in New York and a master's and doctorate in performance from Yale University, all with highest honors. He was awarded a Fulbright grant for study in Italy, and while there was the only American winner in auditions held by Radiotelevisione Italiana. His solo recital appearances include New York's Lincoln Center, the National Gallery and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., St. John's Smith Square in London, National Public Radio ("Performance Today"), Taiwan, Korea, and a U.S. State Department tour of Italy.

Critics have praised his recordings of solo and chamber works for CRI and Musical Heritage Society, and Newsweek magazine selected his CRI recording of Leo Ornstein's works as one of its "Ten Best American Music Recordings" of the year.

An internationally noted educator, Westney holds two endowed positions at Texas Tech University - Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor and Browning Artist-in-Residence - and has been honored many times with teaching awards, including the Yale School of Music Alumni Association's prestigious "Certificate of Merit," for his distinctive and innovative contributions to the teaching of musical performance. He has also been a frequent guest professor at Tonghai University in Taiwan.

Westney's unique "Un-Master Class" performance workshops were described as "fascinating" in a featured New York Times article. They are increasingly in demand in the U.S. and abroad, having been held at such prominent centers as the Aspen School, Peabody Conservatory, Kennedy Center, Royal Conservatory (Toronto), Cleveland Institute, Tanglewood Institute, European Piano Teachers Association, Holland Music Sessions and the Juilliard School.

Amadeus Press released Westney's first book, The Perfect Wrong Note, in fall 2003. According to the Library Journal, it is a "well-thought-out approach to music instruction to which many aspire, but which few attain."