The unique talents of Canadian pianist and composer Heather Schmidt have garnered praise from the press, which describes her as “brilliant and superb” in both capacities. Of her dual career she states: “It is only in the recent century that the two roles have become separate. As a performer I find that I perform with a composer’s insights, and likewise music that I write is affected by my experience as a performer. They are really intertwined.” Ms. Schmidt studied both piano and composition at the Juilliard School and Indiana University, where at 21 she became their youngest recipient of a Doctor of Music degree. Her extensive catalogue of compositions includes works for solo instruments, chamber groups, orchestras, and choral ensembles. She has received numerous commissions from such organizations as the Dallas Symphony, the Canadian Council for the Arts, and the Harvard Musical Association. Active as an educator, Ms. Schmidt is on the faculty of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.
Schmidt writes about her sonata: “ ‘Solaris’ means ‘of or pertaining to the sun.’ As a composer, I am often intrigued by dualities – in this case, how the sun is so vast and powerful, yet it can also appear as a delicate beam of sunlight. The music in this composition opens with a gentle side of solar. It builds to a dramatic climax and then returns to the opening softness.”
Sponsored by: Robert Charles Garrett and Ursula Waldmeyer-Garrett in memory of Hermine Daepp; Jean-Paul Bierny and Chris Tanz, Drs. John and Helen Schaefer, and Carla Zingarelli Rosenlicht