Professors play the piano



Audience members wait patiently for the concert to begin. Photo by Christine Capozziello.

Joey Krumm

Audience members wait patiently for the concert to begin. Photo by Christine Capozziello.

At the end of her performance, Dr. Irena Kofman appeared to choke up as she walked off stage. She wasn’t the only performer that night who was played passionately.

For two hours the halls of the Dorothy F. Schmidt Performing Arts Center University Theater held its annual Piano Faculty Recital, which showcased several of the talented musicians on campus. The recital helped raise money for scholarships in the music departments.

Interim Music Department Chair Rebecca Lautner said, “With donations from doing these events, we raised enough money to have 23 students receive scholarships.” Annually, they raise over $100,000 for scholarships. The performance started 7 p.m. on Sept. 24.

First to play was Dr. Kofman, who was born in Russia and played piano since she was five. She started playing due to the influence of her parents and her personal preference. “Another big reason why I started to play was because of the high social status awarded to talented piano players and the respect they garner in Russia.”

Professor Rebecca Lautar, Interim Chair of the Music Department, gives a brief opening speech during the Faculty Piano Concert in the University Theater on Saturday, September 24.

She studied at the Voronezh Academy of Art and the Moscow State Conservatory and earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Miami. At FAU she teaches piano, pedagogy and chamber music.

Next was Dr. Anne Lousie-Turgeon, a Montreal native who was introduced to the piano by her father when she was four. She’s worked with the Toronto Royal Conservatory and the University of Toronto under Marietta Orlov, a Romanian pianist who has toured in Europe and  taught many Canadian pianitsts. Lousie-Turgeon has a duo with her husband called “Duo Turgeon.” Her expertise at FAU is in the piano and in chamber music.

The third performer was Dr. Heather Coltman, who has a background in both piano and violin, which she was introduced to her by her mother at a young age. “My mom was one of the biggest reasons why I began to play. I still play duets with my mom to this day.”

Coltman began playing piano when she was four and learned violin at seven. She was born in Zambia and emigrated to the U.S. in 1966. She has numerous degrees in Music and Musical Arts from schools like University of Texas, Mannes College of Music in New York and the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. Her expertise is in piano, chamber ,usic and music history.

The final performer was Professor Leonid Treer. He was born in Ukraine and began to play at the age of 6. He advanced under the tutelage Anna Stoliarevich, a famed conductor and composer, and pianist Felix Blumenfeld. Eventually he went on to play in Moscow at the Gnessin State Institute of Musical Pedagogics, one of the most elite music schools in all of Russia. He came to the US in 1994. He teaches piano, music history and chamber music at FAU.