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Legend pianist showcases his talents in annual piano festival


Pianist Abbey Simon plays one of his iconic renditions in Dudley Recital Hall on Friday afternoon.  |  Justin Cross/The Cougar

Moores School of Music started off the 33rd annual International Piano Festival weekend event with a special guest, Abbey Simon.

The annual festival showcased recitals and master classes with three of the world’s great keyboard performers, including Simon, Kirill Gerstein and John O’Conor.

Simon has been integral to the International Piano Festival since its inception and performed in the festival every year but one since he founded it in 1984. Simon is “hailed as a super-virtuoso whose appearances in the concert halls of the world are eagerly anticipated not only by music lovers, but also by professional musicians who come to hear him spin his own particular magic,” according to Moores news release.

For nearly 40 years, the pianist has been teaching at the Moores School of Music. He currently holds a Cullen Distinguished Professorship at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1977. Recently, Abbey Simon was presented in recital on the “Naumburg Looks Back” series in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall.

He is recognized as one of the grand masters of the piano.

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