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Q&A: UA music professor takes the stage for piano recital

Courtesy of Mindi Acosta

Daniel Linder is an assistant professor of piano at the University of Arizona. He will perform in a solo recital as part of the UA Faculty Artist Series.

Daniel Linder, an assistant professor of piano at the University of Arizona, will perform in a solo recital this Saturday as part of the Faculty Artist Series hosted by the Fred Fox School of Music. 

The Daily Wildcat spoke with Linder about his upcoming free recital that will take place this Saturday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. in Holsclaw Hall on the UA campus.

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Daily Wildcat: What is the Faculty Artist Series here in the School of Music?

Daniel Linder: It’s a chance for members of the faculty to share the work they’ve been doing with the students, the campus community and the city, as well. This is my first year here at the university, so I’m looking at it as a way to introduce myself.  

DW: What pieces will you be performing?

DL: I’m playing four pieces, and three of them are very different piano sonatas. The fourth is a piece by Daniel Asia, who teaches composition here at the school. I’m playing a Mozart piano sonata in a classical form and a Chopin sonata, which is big and romantic. The latest sonata I’m playing is by Alban Berg, and it’s the clearest example of sonata form. I’ll be playing Berg and Chopin first. The second half of the program will have the Mozart sonata, the oldest piece, paired with the very newest piece by Dan Asia. 

I played this same program just last Sunday as my final doctoral recital at the University of Southern California, so I’m officially “Dr. Linder” as of just a couple days ago. I played it in Los Angeles, and now I get to play it again here at UA.

DW: What is your favorite style of music to play?

DL: One of the things I like about classical music is there’s such a huge variety of styles. My favorite, generally speaking, period to play is 20th-century music. On this program, the Berg sonata is probably my favorite piece to play. The piece by Dan Asia is a very close second, because it has a lot of minimalist writing and resonates with me in a way that the older music doesn’t. 

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DW: Are there past performances you are most proud of?

DL: A few summers ago, I played at a very beautiful art museum in Næstved, Denmark, and what made that so special is that I was in another country and was representing the U.S., in a way. I also think my last student recital this past weekend was important for me, because it was the final performance for my Doctor of Musical Arts degree. 

DW: How did you find your passion for music?

DL: I grew up in a small town called Westport, N.Y., and my parents were not professional musicians, but they loved music. They were able to encourage me to study music and guide me. They helped find me find good teachers early on who inspired me to want to pursue a career in music. 

DW: What brought you here to UA?

DL: Well, I had a very positive experience when I got my master’s degree here and was very happy and honored to return to teach. My teaching requirements fit exactly with my interests, because I’m not only teaching piano performance, but I’m also teaching piano literature. This is honestly exactly the kind of job I’ve been preparing for. I feel really grateful for it. 

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