Acclaimed pianists George Lopez, left, and Janice Weber will perform during the 13th Annual ‘Pops’ Piano Festival from Oct. 4 to Oct. 12 in Ogunquit. SUBMITTED PHOTO

OGUNQUIT — The 13th Annual “Pops” Piano Festival presented by Ogunquit Performing returns Oct. 4 through Oct 12 with show-stopping performances from pianists George Lopez and Janice Weber,

Concerts will be held at the Dunaway Center, 23 School St. in Ogunquit and both Lopez and Weber, are doing repeat performances at the festival.

On Friday, Oct 4 at 7: 30 p.m., Bowdoin College Artist-in-Residence George Lopez returns to Ogunquit to play American Pops Piano Music, from Joplin to Gershwin. His program is entitled “The History of American Popular Piano Music,” and includes such favorite composers as Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Scott Joplin, Charles Ives, George Gershwin, Zez Confrey’s “Dizzy Fingers”, Keith Jarrett and Billy Joel.

He is regularly hailed by critics as an excellent pianist with a formidable technique, colorful interpretations, and a powerful and romantic soul.

On Saturday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p,m,, international concert pianist Janice Weber returns to Ogunquit with a virtuoso evening entitled “A Night at the Movies,” offering a dazzling program of Pops Classics associated with a variety of great films, including The Birds, Dr. Zhivago, and a special salute to Hamilton.

This vivacious, Boston-based performer has a reputation for programing the most exciting and technically challenging selections which will no doubt apply even to this lighter program. She is known as a concert pianist of daredevil brilliance, and award-winning recordings.

On Sunday, Oct. 6 at 3 p.m., scheduled in between these two professional performances, comes the Student Piano Recital, one of OPA’s favorite traditions of saluting the future by showcasing the area’s best young pianists. It is here that talented local students have the opportunity to perform on OPA’s fabled Concert Model C Steinway grand piano before a live audience. Admission to this performance is free.

The Festival honors the memory of Elizabeth Dunaway Burnham, founder and first chairperson of Ogunquit Performing Arts. A pianist herself, Betty saw to it that OPA acquired its spectacular Steinway.

Lopez, the Beckwith Artist-in-Residence at Bowdoin College, has given recitals and performed in chamber ensembles and with orchestras in the United States, Europe, and Australia. His interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam received critical acclaim, and a Los Angeles critic hailed the pianist for his musical perspective, continuity, and kaleidoscopic colors.

Born in Brooklyn to Mayan parents, he spent his childhood in Belize, before his family moved to Texas, where he began to play the piano at the rather late age of 11. He quickly discovered that he had a knack, performing at the keyboard and, by age 14, he had won his first concerto competition; only two years later, he received a full scholarship to the Hartt School of Music. A Franco-American study grant permitted graduate work in Paris, and he completed his Master’s Degree cum laude at the Sweelinck Conservatory, Amsterdam.

This year, he has toured Philadelphia, New York City, the Bay Area, Seattle, Mexico and New England, as well as making his first visit to Cuba recently to give master classes and concerts with the Aries Trio. His “Music in the Museum” series at Bowdoin College has consistently sold out to audiences who enjoy his creative and engaging lecture recitals on the relationship of music to art and ideas. He has also taken up the baton as conductor of the Bowdoin College Symphony Orchestra.

Weber is known worldwide for her hair-raising virtuosity, specializing in the most fiendishly difficult solo repertoire.

A summa cum laude graduate of the Eastman School of Music, she has performed at the White House, Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, National Gallery of Art, and Boston’s Symphony Hall. She has appeared with the Boston Pops, Chautauqua Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Hilton Head Orchestra, Sarajevo Philharmonic, and Syracuse Symphony. She also has performed at the Bard, Newport, La Gesse, Husum, and Monadnock summer festivals and has twice toured China under the auspices of the American Liszt Society.

Her world premiere recording of Liszt’s 1838 Transcendental Etudes elicited acclaim from Time magazine. She also recorded Liszt’s last Hungarian Rhapsody, one of only two living pianists to be included in a compendium of historic performances by nineteen legendary artists. This disc subsequently won the International Liszt Prize.

And her recordings also include Rachmaninoff’s complete transcriptions; with the Lydian Quartet, Leo Ornstein’s vast Piano Quintet; flute and piano works of Sigfrid Karg-Elert; and waltz transcriptions of Godowsky, Rosenthal, and Friedman. She is a member of the piano faculty at Boston Conservatory and MIT.

Enjoy these two Pops concerts by two spectacular artists in captivating performances of lighter fare. Don’t miss George Lopez on Friday, Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m., and Janice Weber on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Meet and greet the artists following the performances. Champagne and refreshments will be available, along with free parking behind the Dunaway Center.

And don’t forget the Student Recital on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 3 p.m, to hear the piano stars of the future

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and $5 for students, and may be purchased at the Dunaway Center, Ogunquit Camera Shop, Ogunquit Welcome Center, and Ogunquit Playhouse Downtown Box Office until 24 hours prior to the performance. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.ogunquitperformingarts.org until one hour prior to each concert.

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