P O W E L L, W y o. - Popular pianist Tim Schoessler will showcase Northwest College's newly rebuilt grand piano at an 7:30 p.m. recital Saturday, Feb. 17, in the Nelson Performing Arts Center Auditorium.
Schoessler starts the evening with the "Eroica" Variations in E flat major from Beethoven. "The simple melody is quirky, whimsical, and very humorous," Schoessler said, "and Beethoven's treatment of it is very thorough, as it is at once exhaustive and delightful. It even includes a fugal treatment of the theme at the end."
Sergei Prokofiev's Sonata No. 6 in A major, one of the composer's most famous works for piano, follows. The first of three sonatas Prokofiev composed during World War II, it "combines astonishing dissonance and rhythm with exquisite melodies and harmonic structures," Schoessler said.
The second half of the program features Modest Moussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." By far his most famous work, this set of pieces is most commonly heard in its version for orchestra, which was done later by Ravel. According to Schoessler, the piece was based on the composer's stroll through an exhibition featuring his friend Victor Hartmann's artwork. It features a wide variety of short pieces that Schoessler says, "show many different moods and ideas."
At just 24 years of age, Schoessler has fingered the ivories for over 17 years, more than two-thirds of his life. He started playing piano at age 7 and took up the organ five years later. He started accompanying soloists and choirs, and participating in ensembles at the ripe old age of 9, when most piano students are still practicing their etudes.
Schoessler began entering piano competitions in 1994, and between then and 2005 competed in seven Music Teachers National Association state competitions at the junior high, high school, and collegiate levels. He took top honors five times, advancing to the Northwest Regional competition, where he placed second twice. In 2000, he won the Northwest Civic Orchestra and Master Chorale's Wyoming Young Artist Competition.
As a college freshman in 2001, Schoessler was the first undergraduate winner of the University of Wyoming Dorothy Jacoby Young Artist Competition out of a field of almost 30 students. In 2002 he was a semifinalist in the Fort Collins National Young Artist Competition. Schoessler holds a bachelor's degree in keyboard performance from UW where he studied piano with Theresa Bogard and organ with Steven Hoffman. He is currently completing his master's degree in keyboard performance.
By day, the multi-talented Schoessler is a pianist for the NWC Music Program. By night, he's a heavy metal guitarist in a group called Settled in Silence.
His Feb. 17 recital is open to everyone. Admission is free.