Pianist and composer Philip Aaberg will visit the University of Montana this week for some music-related activities and a public concert. 

Aaberg, known as a “composer of place” for his knack for creating music depicting landscapes, will be on campus Tuesday through Thursday to perform a concert for local schoolchildren, to provide a master class for UM music majors and Montana music teachers, and perform a public recital for the Missoula community.

Aaberg is often commissioned to write site-specific pieces. He was recently commissioned by the Montana Farmers Union to write a piece for its 100th anniversary, so he took a piano into a wheat field in the high plains and composed there.

“Philip has such universal appeal,” says UM piano faculty member Steven Hesla, who along with faculty member Christopher Hahn was responsible for bringing Aaberg to Missoula as part of the UM School of Music’s Celebrate Piano Series. “His unique style honestly paints an audible picture of Montana – you’ll be able to sit back and envision some of the most beautiful landscapes our state has to offer.”

“We’re also excited that more than 600 fourth-graders will get to see the Aaberg perform in UM’s George and Jane Dennison Theatre,” Hesla said.

Aaberg’s visit will culminate with a public concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in UM’s Dennison Theater. Tickets cost $15, $25 or $35 and are available online at umt.edu/griztix or by calling the UMArts Box Office at 243-4581.

Philip Aaberg is the third concert in the five-part Celebrate Piano Series, starting with two Pianissimo! concerts, and ending with concerts by Tanya Gabrielian in January and piano duo Lomazov and Rackers in April.

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