Works by dead white European men have dominated concert stages for generations. Recent events highlighting systemic racism and sexism have prompted musicians to re-evaluate the long-standing canon of Classical composers to question why works from historically under-represented composers have been largely overlooked. Lawrence Conservatory piano professor Anthony Padilla will examine the roots of the traditional Western canon of piano literature and share his and his students' explorations into piano works by women, Latinx, Asian, Black and indigenous composers of color, including recent works by Navajo pianist/composer Connor Chee, Afro-Cuban composer Tania León, Cambodian composer Chinary Ung, and other composers from the Asian, and African diasporas. He will also discuss problematic issues of cultural appropriation and will encourage seminar participants to share their own adventures into the expanding canon of concert music.
Anthony Padilla, professor of piano and chamber music at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, receives acclaim for performances of “enormous freshness, vitality, and poetry” (Chicago Tribune). Awarded the American Pianists Association’s Beethoven Fellowship and top prize at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, he is also a laureate of the Naumburg, Bachauer, Kapell, and Cleveland International Piano Competitions. A nationally certified teacher of the Music Teachers National Association, Padilla’s students regularly earn top prizes at state, national and international competitions. His recordings include the premiere of Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson’s Statements: Second Sonata for Piano, transcriptions of organ and orchestral works for extended range keyboard, and chamber works by American women and Latin American composers, recorded with the Arcos Piano Trio, recent recipients of an Artistic Excellence grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. His popular seminars at Björklunden have included surveys of The Great Pianists, The Piano Trio, Musical Humor, Piano Works of Chopin, Robert Schumann, and Franz Liszt, and The Art of Piano Transcription.