Firefly Classics Concert: Jeffrey Gilliam

The Jansen Art Center is pleased to present Firefly Classics: Jeffrey Gilliam on Saturday, April 22 at 7:30pm.

Firefly Classics is a concert series at the J celebrating the best in classical music.

Jeffrey Gilliam is a pianist, currently teaching at Western Washington University.

Prior to joining the piano faculty at WWU in 1992, Gilliam taught at The Juilliard School, The University of Michigan School of Music, and at The International Menuhin Music Academy in Gstaad, Switzerland. He has performed and taught all over the world, including guest university teaching positions in Thailand and South Africa. He has received two Fulbright awards.

For the recital at the Jansen Art Center, Gilliam tells us that he chose works that he believed the audience would enjoy while showing off the magnificent Schimmel grand piano in the resonant space. “For example, I’ve chosen Debussy’s Engulfed Cathedral prelude, because a lot of students and teachers know and love it, and because it will really fill the space. Some of my pieces will sound really big at the J, so be forewarned if you sit in the front rows!,” he added.

Gilliam continues his discussion of this upcoming performance: “A topic of current interest for Western’s piano students and faculty is the piano transcription.I’m including two transcriptions: the Bach violin Chaconne, arranged for piano by Busoni; and Wagner’s Liebestod from his opera “Tristan and Isolde”, arranged by Franz Liszt.Wagner’s “Tristan” influenced everyone that followed him, including the young Austrian composer Alban Berg in his very first published work, his Sonata Opus 1. I’ve chosen Scriabin’s “Vers la flamme” because, like Wagner’s “Tristan”, it features a weird and enigmatic sound throughout. For me the Scriabin piece, (means “Towards the Flame”) functions as a Big Bang Theory for piano.

My second half is devoted to Brahms’ epic Handel Variations and Fugue, one of the cornerstone pieces of the romantic piano repertory.”

Gilliam has recorded with violinists Yehudi Menuhin, Alberto Lysy, and Ruggerio Ricci for the EMI, Dinemec Classics, and Opus 111 labels.

Originally from Akron, Ohio, he studied piano with Cécile Genhart at The Eastman School of Music. He also studied collaborative piano with Martin Katz and Margo Garrett.

In addition to teaching piano and collaborative piano at Western, he is Artistic Director of Western’s Sanford-Hill Piano Series.

Beyond his own success as a musician, Gilliam’s students have gone on to distinguished piano performance programs at Stony Brook, New England Conservatory, Rice University, and Eastman.

Tickets for this event are $25 and are available at the Jansen Art Center Gallery Shop and online at

Firefly Classics is supported by the Certified Public Accounts firm, Telganhof & Oagten.


Apr 22 2017


07:30 PM



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