AIKEN, SC (02/05/2018) The world premiere of a University of South Carolina Aiken music professor's most recent composition takes place Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m., in the Etherredge Center for the Performing Arts.
The artist debuting the classically influenced piece is his son, a Vienna-based concert pianist.
Dr. Richard Maltz has worked tirelessly for the last two years composing Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. He says this work was created specifically for his son, Daniel Adam Maltz, who has been playing classical pieces before he even started school.
"What better way to celebrate the relationship between father and son than to collaborate as composer and performer," dad said.
Conductor Suzanna Pavlovsky will lead the Aiken Concert Orchestra, which will accompany Daniel as part of the performance. The orchestra not only includes several USC Aiken faculty members but also Daniel's mother, Susan Cafferty, on cello.
While the concert is a celebration of a new era of classicism, Dr. Maltz says it's so much more.
"Mostly Maltz: Classicism Revisited is a tribute to family," the professor said.
The evening will include Maltz's Symphony No. 2 'Fraternal.' He dedicated that piece to his brother, Gary.
"He enriched my life and the lives of my family in indescribable ways," the composer said.
The four-movement symphony was commissioned by the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra. It includes Gary's Song, an elegy for the third movement.
While ties to his family have inspired his work, Maltz says that Ludwig van Beethoven has greatly influenced his compositions. In fact, Mostly Maltz opens with Beethoven's Overture to the Creatures of Prometheus, Op. 43.
"I chose his music to open the concert because it strikes me at my core and has had more influence on me than that of any other composer," Maltz said.
The professor attended Berklee College of Music and received two degrees from the University of North Texas. He earned his doctorate from the University of South Carolina.
His classical training includes studying with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Robert Ward; Guggenheim fellow Ben Johnston; and ASCAP award-winner Dick Goodwin. Maltz has been the guest composer at the London Gala Concerts, the USC Conductors Institute, and the Cummington Community of the Arts. He currently holds the Pauline F. O'Connell Chair in Fine Arts.
But Maltz says his greatest honor has been being voted "#1 Dad" by his son.
Daniel is also very accomplished.
At 24, he makes regular appearances throughout the United States and around the globe. In October 2016, he made his Carnegie Hall debut.
"As a father, I could be no more proud of my son," the senior Maltz said. "As a composer, I am touched by his sensitivity at the piano.
"Daniel is passionate about music as a live art. By focusing solely on live performances, he hopes to counter digital age distractions by creating an environment that is spontaneous and meaningful, providing a much needed respite from the noise of our busy lives."
His son studied with internationally renowned teachers. He took private lessons with Robert Lehrbaumer in Vienna; Mozart specialist Gil Sullivan in Australia; and Beethoven authority John O'Connor in the United States.
Despite the world-class musical education and exposure, Daniel credits his dad with his accomplishments.
"I am a pianist today because dad taught me to play Beethoven's Ode to Joy when I was 4 years old," said the younger Maltz.
Daniel is only the second artist to perform on USC Aiken's brand new 9-foot Steinway concert grand piano.
"To premiere [dad]'s piano concerto on a new Steinway is a beautiful way to honor our bond," he said.
In addition to the Etherredge Center Main Stage, the father-son duo also teamed up in USC Aiken's music department. Less than a week before the premier of dad's composition, he and Daniel gave a pre-concert lecture to music students at the university.
Tickets for the performance are $10; all students are admitted at no cost. For tickets, go to: www.etherredge.usca.edu .