Toccata for organ to be played

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 22, 2009

Most of us who attend organ concerts feel deprived unless we hear the famous Toccata from the Fifth Symphony for Organ by Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937). It is often the concluding piece, always to a standing ovation.

At 2 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church, the audience will have a unique opportunity to hear this piece performed on two grand pianos by Stella Zedro and Mary Viger. The program will include works from classical composers such as Bach, Mozart and Franck. The listeners will then enjoy excerpts from Billy the Kid arranged by Aaron Copland (1900-1990) and works from other 20th century composers.

Two grand pianos will be delivered from Allegrezzo Music Company in Jackson on Friday. Burnley Cook, piano tuner and restorer and a fine pianist himself, will work his magic getting the pianos tuned to each other before the musicians arrive to rehearse on Saturday.

Email newsletter signup

Stella Ane Zedro, a graduate of Juillard and Manhattan Schools of Music in New York City, began her musical career at the age of five in Toledo, Ohio. Her early years of piano study were under Emma Endres Kountz, followed by full tuition scholarships to study in New York with Carl Friedburg (the last surviving pupil of Clara Schumann) and Robert Goldsand. Her duo-piano studies were under Robert and Gaby Casadesus (Princeton) and Michael Field of the Fred Waring Appleton Field piano duo.

Mary Hicks Viger has a bachelor of music education degree from James Madison University and master of music education degree from Florida State University. Mrs. Viger is also a former student of Nadia Boulanger, (theory) and Jean-Jacques Painchaud, (piano) at the American Conservatory, Chateau de Fontainebleau, France.

Presently, Stella lives in Florida and Mary lives in France.

They have performances scheduled in France and in Utica, New York, in 2009 and at Stetson University in 2010, and again in France near Tours. We are indeed fortunate to have them include a concert in Natchez while they are performing in the United States.

The public is invited to attend this free concert. A reception will follow to meet the artists.

Jeanie Lanneau is the organist at First Presbyterian Church, Natchez.