posted January 28, 2003

Pianist Michael Sheppard to Perform Jan. 31

Hope College will present pianist Michael Sheppard in concert on Friday, Jan. 31, at 8 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Sheppard has won several awards and prizes, including the Cafferata-Jackson Memorial Competition, the Miecyslaw Munz Competition, the Harrison Winter Competition, the National Federation of Music Clubs Biennial National Competition and the Poulenc Plus! Competition. He was recently a semi-finalist in the Hilton Head International Piano Competition, and he is one of only five national finalists in competition for the American Pianist Association Fellowship.

Committed to new music as well as the traditional repertoire, he has worked closely with composers such as Nicholas Maw, Michael Hersch and Robert Sirota. Recently, he played privately for John Corigliano. Sheppard also composes his own music.

Sheppard spent two summers at the Aspen Music Festival on full scholarship, and more recently was a piano Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. At Tanglewood, he worked closely with distinguished musicians such as Emanuel Ax, Ursula Oppens and Pamela Frank. In recent summers, as a prizewinner of the La Gesse Foundation Fellowship given by the Princess Cecilia di Medici, Sheppard presented concerts of solo and chamber music in Toulouse, France and Verona, Italy. Also, as part of the La Gesse prize, he performed three times in Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall in New York City.

Sheppard has been playing piano since he was two years old, and holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of the John Hopkins University. He has appeared in solo recitals, concerts and chamber music all across the United States, as well as in France and Italy. His teachers include Ann Schein, who performed at Hope in 2002, and Leon Fleisher.

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located on College Avenue at 12th Street.