Program Notes from Samuel:
Music is strange. It has the ability to take us to new worlds – if we let it. It can reveal to us beauty and emotion that only exists in our imagination – and which would stay there – if not for music allowing us to travel somewhere new.
The pieces we will hear this morning span three centuries, and even though the gaps of time between them are large, they all share the ability to cross chasms and bring us to new places.
When I play music, there is a specific journey it takes me on. I believe music is not only a portal to new worlds, it also is path leading up to a small, imperfect window allowing us to see something of the nature of Jesus Christ. Hearing the beauty of what he created gives us a bridge to catch a glimpse of who he is: how wonderful his creation, how beautiful his character, and how deep and perfect his love for me and you.
Born and raised in Central Arkansas, pianist-composer Samuel Durand deeply values beauty in music and is consumed with the desire to share that beauty with others.
He began studying piano from a young age at the Searcy Community School of Music under Dr. Scott Carrell. He served as the principal pianist for the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra, and is a two time winner of the Sam O’ Driggers Piano Festival at the University of Central Arkansas.
Samuel began composing during high school, publicly premiering his first piece in 2017 (titled “El Morro Castle”, for symphonic band). Since then, he has continued to write music for the concert stage, some of which has gone on to receive recognition at the national level.
Samuel is a Presidential Scholar, and the Lindsey and Garth Greimann Fund Scholar at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he studies piano with Andrius Žlabys and composition with John Morrison. He is also an active member of the Christian Fellowship for Art Music Composers, and enjoys chess, listening to podcasts, and hiking when he isn’t superglued to his piano bench.