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Music professor's last featured recital

Nitza Kats

The music of Mozart, Ben-Haim, Prokofiev and Chopin bring forth the idea of warm sunlight and gentle breezes of an almost spring-like nature during Radford University Department of Music’s faculty recital by pianist and associate professor Nitza Kats.

On Monday, March 17, Kats will present “Almost Spring,” which is her last featured faculty recital before she retires in May. Performing with her from RU are Carla Copeland-Burns on flute and David Allen on clarinet. Guest violist Alistair Leon Kok will join them.

Kats started her career at RU in 1984 as a part-time piano instructor. Her position changed to full-time tenure-track in 1990 and later her rank as an assistant professor changed to associate professor. Prior to this she was an adjunct professor at Virginia Tech’s Department of Music.

During her early years at RU, she started teaching piano on a Steinway D. This was one of two that were housed in the storage area backstage in the Bondurant Auditorium.

“This was a dreadful location, noisy, cold, and quite uncomfortable, but the instruments were great, which I preferred over teaching on an upright in the music building,” she says. Later she moved to Porterfield Hall and has continued to keep her office and rehearsal space there.

She feels that one of the most positive changes for the music department occurred with the addition of the Covington Center for the Arts.

Kats is particularly appreciative of its state-of-the-art Performance Hall, “After attending and performing solo recitals for many years in the 1500-seat Bondurant Auditorium, the new Performance Hall was a most welcoming change in our musical life.” This is where her recital is to be held.

“Almost Spring” will not be the last time we see Kats perform, though. She is involved with several student recitals this spring. She plans to continue being a part of the musical life of the NRV area, particularly as an active member of the local Highlands Chapter of Virginia Music Teachers Association. Family, travel and special projects that had to wait during her teaching years are also in her immediate plans upon retirement.

She does have some parting advice for students that also applies to everyone, “My advise to students is – never stop learning. I am still doing it all the time.
Keep an open mind – don't resist changes, give them a try.”

“Almost Spring: A Faculty Recital by Nitza Kats, Piano” is March 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Performance Hall of the Covington Center. Admission is free.

To learn more about Kats, visit her bio page at http://www.radford.edu/content/cvpa/home/music/faculty/nitza-kats.html. To learn more about the music program with the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Radford University, visit radford.edu/music.

Mar 10, 2014