This is a great weekend for piano music. At Kleinhans Music Hall, pianist Jean Louis Steuerman is playing Grieg. And on Saturday night at Fredonia State College, Leon Bates is presenting a concert called "Gershwin on Broadway." It's possible, if you're clever, to hit both concerts. Piano fans might want to think about it.
Bates has been in residence in Fredonia all week, leading master classes and coaching students in both classical music and jazz. Born in Philadelphia, he has recorded for the Orion, Performance and Naxos labels, and in honor of his achievements, Steinway and Sons chose him to perform in a special Carnegie Hall performance in honor of the company's 500,000th piano.
Bates' concert, which opens Fredonia's Someplace Special Pops Series, will focus on a bouquet of Gershwin show tunes. The evening will include "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," "Summertime," "Embraceable You" and, to top it off, Bates' solo rendition of "Rhapsody in Blue." Joining Bates will be four singers: baritone Cedric Cannon, tenor Sam McKelton and sopranos Louise Toppin and La-Rose Saxon.
The concert takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday in King Concert Hall, Fredonia. Admission is $18. For more information, call 673-3501.
-- Mary Kunz Goldman