Grad to play Beethoven sonatas

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    The classical sonatas of Beethoven played by one of TCU’s own can be heard on campus.Alumnus Adam Golka, pianist, is performing a free pulic concert Sunday in Ed Landreth Hall Auditorium.

    Golka said it is a dream come true for him to be able to perform all 32 of Beethoven’s sonatas at TCU.

    “Beethoven has an important place in the lives of pianists, and it’s really been a dream of mine to perform again at TCU,” Golka said.

    Golka is a recent graduate of TCU’s Artist Diploma program, a three-year program designated to help prepare advanced and gifted piano performers who demonstrate the potential to become concert artists, said Richard Gipson, director of the School of Music.

    Gipson added Golka as one of the programs most prized and highly recognized graduates, and it is meaningful that he has chosen to perform this series of recitals at TCU.

    “It is a great benefit to us all to hear this remarkable Beethoven repertoire performed by one of our own,” Gipson said.

    Gipson, who has attended several of Golka’s performances, said the recitals draw crowds of 200 to 250 people on average.

    Golka said his concerts are not average piano performances because he tries to bond with the audience.

    Before each sonata, Golka said he talks to the audience and gives them an overview and history behind what they are about to hear.

    Golka also said he strives to be laid back.

    “There are no rules,” he said. “I want everyone to be casual and have fun.”

    Chancellor Victor Boschini said the pianist is a rare talent.

    “He played a concert my wife and I held in our home, and he was superb,” Boschini said in an e-mail. “Adam Golka is nothing short of amazing.”

    Golka has performed with orchestras in Houston, Dallas, San Diego and New York City, and has completed nearly 150 concert performances, according to his Web site.

    Golka’s most recent concert was in Osaka, Japan where he performed at Nakanoshima Hall, the oldest musical hall in the country, he said.

    Golka said the most rewarding thing for him is getting to play music.

    “I live for the music,” Golka said.

    Although he didn’t begin his study at TCU until he was 15, Golka said his pursuit for a life in music began years before.

    At age 13, Golka said he began taking private lessons under Jose Feghali, a Brazilian-born artist-in-residence professor at TCU. Feghali is also a pianist and gold medal winner of the 1985 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

    “Once a week, my mom would drive me from Houston, about five hours, to have lessons with Mr. Feghali,” Golka said. “We would drive back home the same night.”

    Golka said he considers Feghali one of his most influential mentors and a great friend.

    Feghali will perform as a special guest at Golka’s eighth concert Nov. 12.

    According to a press release, Sunday’s concert, sponsored by the TCU School of Music, is the sixth of nine recitals Golka is performing as a part of his series, “Beethoven: The 32 Sonatas.