Ro­ger Law­son to per­form in long-awaited recital

El Dorado News-Times - - Front Page - By Cait­lan But­ler Staff Writer

Pi­anist Ro­ger Law­son will re­turn to the South Arkansas Arts Cen­ter this week with a recital based on Ro­man­tic-era com­posers.

“A lit­tle ner­vous, but I’m al­ways that way. It’s ex­cit­ing to do it and I’m look­ing for­ward to it,” Law­son said.

Law­son last per­formed at SAAC four years ago. A pi­ano in­struc­tor, he typ­i­cally sticks to only play­ing at his stu­dents’ recitals. How­ever, he said that now the time was right for an­other show.

“I just felt the need to do it,” he said. “I can still play the pi­ano and I still have peo­ple that want to hear me … it’s good for me to do it and I hope it’ll be good for the au­di­ence to hear it.”

Law­son said Ro­man­tic com­posers typ­i­cally wrote melody-driven, emo­tional pieces. With artists like Rach­mani­noff, Chopin, Liszt and Shu­mann on his set list, Law­son’s con­cert will fea­ture var­i­ous types of

mu­sic from the Ro­man­tic era (19th cen­tury).

“Great mu­sic is re­ally im­por­tant, es­pe­cially now,” he said. “Things can get pretty tense some­times in the world, and mu­sic just kind of re­lieves the sit­u­a­tion and shows us a dif­fer­ent way of look­ing at things. I just think it’s a won­der­ful out­let.”

He will also platy five songs he has never per­formed in pub­lic be­fore.

A Rus­ton, La.-na­tive, Law­son stud­ied first at Louisiana Tech Univer­sity then re­ceived his masters de­gree in pi­ano per­for­mance at Flor­ida State Univer­sity. He taught at a col­lege in Ge­or­gia for a pe­riod be­fore mov­ing to El Do­rado in 1968, where he has been a pop­u­lar pi­ano in­struc­tor since.

Law­son said that when he’s not prac­tic­ing or teach­ing pi­ano, he spends most of his time lis­ten­ing to Na­tional Pub­lic Ra­dio. At his home-stu­dio, he has two grand pi­anos he uses for re­hearsal and lessons. He said he is look­ing for­ward to play­ing on SAAC’s Stein­way, which was re­built sev­eral years ago. He said it sounds like a brand new pi­ano.

The recital will take place in the Call­away The­ater Tues­day at 7 p.m. A meet and greet with Law­son will fol­low his per­for­mance. The event is free to at­tend.

“When I play a piece, it is my fa­vorite at the mo­ment, it re­ally is,” Law­son said. “I love them all. When­ever I’m play­ing, that’s the most im­por­tant piece that I have right then.”

Con­trib­uted Photo

Pi­anist: Ro­ger Law­son in his home stu­dio. He will per­form a pi­ano recital fea­tur­ing Ro­man­tic-era com­posers to­mor­row evening at the South Arkansas Arts Cen­ter.

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