By Kent Larsen
LDS Pianist Featured at New York Public Library Concert
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Pianist Grant Johannesen, the best known LDS classical
pianist, will perform a free concert sponsored by the New York Public
Library for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, March 14th as part of the
library's performing arts series. Johannesen's career spans more than 50
years, including many concerts for Mormon audiences and a lifetime of
recording and performing around the country.
The concert is part of a series put on by the library commemorating the
centennial of the death of author Oscar Wilde. Entitled, "A Man of Some
Importance: Oscar Wilde and the Performing Arts," the concert will include
Robert Schumann's Forest Scenes, which are mentioned in Wilde's classic work
"The Picture of Dorian Gray" and works by Chopin, who Wilde praises in "The
Critic as Artist." Johannesen will also perform Mozart's Fantasia in D minor.
Because of construction at New York's Lincoln Center, the normal venue for
the library's series, this concert will be presented at the US Custom House,
one Bowling Green, in lower Manhattan on Wednesday, March 14th. Admission
for the 6pm performance is free.
Johannesen studied piano at Princeton University from 1941-1946 and also at
Cornell University. In 1944 he debuted professionally with the New York
Philharmonic, and went on a series of tours of Europe and the USSR. He
taught at the Aspen Music School from 1960-1966 and was Music director and
then President of the Cleveland Institute of Music from 1974 to 1985.
Johannesen has been an important support for the LDS Church in New York
City, giving a series of benefit concerts in the early 1970s to raise funds
for the construction of the New York New York Stake Center. Last year he
performed as part of the stake's Family History Conference, performing the
work of his late wife, Helen Taylor and LDS composer Arthur Shepherd.