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Pianist Powell presents memorial concert at Coastal

August 13, 2003

Pianist Philip Powell will present "A Memorial Concert for Michel Block" on Aug. 24 at 4 p.m. at Coastal Carolina University's Wheelwright Auditorium.

While admission is free, donations are requested for a scholarship fund in honor of Block, an internationally acclaimed pianist who died earlier this year. Powell, an associate music professor at Coastal and chairman of the Department of Performing Arts, studied under Block at Indiana University.

Block, who died March 4 in Bloomington, Ind., widely considered to be one of the great pianists of the 20th century, was a performer, teacher and recording artist. Music critics hailed him as "among the great virtuosi - a phenomenon of the keyboard."

He was born in Antwerp, Belgium, the son of an Alsatian father and French mother. The family immigrated to Mexico where he was raised in Mexico City and became fluent in English, French, Spanish and Italian. Block appeared with many great orchestras and conductors both in the United States, South America, Europe and Asia, and has made numerous recordings, many of which are still available today. He played eight seasons with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and was one of Mexico's most celebrated musical artists.

A tribute to the renowned pianist, the recital will explore the sonata form in works by Scarlatti, Haydn, Beethoven, Chopin, Ravel and Jan'cek.

For an encore, Powell will play an unpublished work that Block wrote called (in rough translation), "The Beautiful History of Our Love."

For more information, contact the Wheelwright Box Office at 349-2502.