Pianist Performs AU Concert to Tell the Story of Her Father

Pianist Performs AU Concert to Tell the Story of Her Father

3/28/18 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University Department of Music will present a guest artist recital by pianist Sandra Shapiro titled, “Ïn My Father's Footsteps: A daughter's search for answers,” on Sunday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. Free and open to the public, the concert is the first of four musical narratives created by Shapiro as she followed her musical journey as a proud daughter and sister of immigrants.

“In My Father's Footsteps” is the story of Shapiro’s discoveries of the man she called “Abba” (Hebrew for father) by tracing his journey through life.

Born in Soviet Russia in 1923, her father’s life unfolded as a fantastic portrayal of courage and perseverance in pursuing his dreams. Her search for answers uncovered his many roles and adventures: WWII as a medic in the Russian army, serving as a doctor in a DP camp in Berlin’s Russian sector, a daring escape from Stalin’s clutches to Foehrenwald DP camp in the American sector, a brief time in Argentina, recruited to the newly formed Israel and finally on to America where she was born.

The music presented in this recital will reflect what she was able to learn about her father’s life, the places he lived, joys and hardships, and his final years. The program consists of pieces by Lyadov, Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Schubert.

Shapiro’s father died when she was quite young and she never knew him when she was an adult. Her curiosity piqued in 2006 after discovering a very old letter written to her father from Moscow. This is when she began her quest to learn about his life and journey to America, which traversed four continents. 

Her quest resulted in “Musical Roots: An Exploration of Cultural Heritage and Influences,” which consists of four musical narratives presented as recitals or lectures either individually or as a series including:
I. In My Father’s Footsteps: A daughter’s search for answers
II. Songs My Safta Sang to Me
III. A Portrait of the Musician as a Melting Pot
IV. My Country 'tis of Thee

Shapiro enjoys an active career as performer, teacher, adjudicator and recording artist throughout the United States and Europe. Known as a versatile performer, she appears as soloist both in recitals and with orchestras, and as a highly sought-after chamber musician. She has received national and international awards along with glowing reviews and recognition in each of these areas.

She began her studies at the age of three and a half, and by age 11, was performing in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras. Because of her prodigious talent, Shapiro left home at age 15 to study at the Juilliard School upon the recommendation of her childhood mentor. 

As a member of the renowned duo-piano team of Hecht & Shapiro, Shapiro's laureates include winning the Munich International Duo Piano Competition, the Ellis National Duo Piano Competition, and top prizes in the Dranoff International Two Piano Competition and the International Jeunesses Musicales Competition.

She is a member of the Piano and Chamber Music faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Visiting Chamber Music Teaching Artist at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and is an Alumni Teaching Artist for The Juilliard-Nord Anglia Global Partnership Program.

For more information about the concert or the Ashland University Department of Music, visit www.ashland.edu/music or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or tapplega@ashland.edu.

Ashland University, ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2017, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.  ###