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Gretchen Hull, Piano
October 3, 2023
Gretchen Hull, Piano

 

Gretchen Hull Noontime program notes (2)

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Fantasia II in A Major, Wq. 58/7

Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre: Chaconne, from Suite No. 3 in A Minor

J. S. Bach tr. Ferruccio Busoni: Chaconne für Violine allein

Ludwig van Beethoven: Polonaise in C Major, Op. 89

Geirr Tveitt: Selected works from Fifty Folktunes from Hardanger

Originally from upstate New York, pianist Gretchen Hull now calls Northern California home. A dynamic recitalist, she has been hailed for her “extraordinary conceptual clarity” and ability to “demand the listener’s attention.” Gretchen has performed in Norway, Germany, and for numerous concert series throughout the US. She has also been heard performing and/or been interviewed on the WCNY, WSKG, and WPEL radio stations, as well as WSKG’s television show Artist Café, and gave a fully televised recital for WSKG’s TV series Expressions. Her recent program “Transformed,” (2022) explores the dramatically different ways eminent composers have breathed life into the same musical forms. A fluent Norwegian speaker with a longstanding interest in the music of Norwegian composers, her earlier concert series, “The Glacier is Silent” explored the unusual and often unearthly beautiful music of a group of 20th century Norwegian composers in concerts on the East and West Coasts. In addition to raising the profile of lesser-known composers of the past, Gretchen also tremendously values new music, and recently performed in the world premiere of Colombian-American composer Diego Vega’s Scherzo for Trumpet and Piano as a part of the Nextet contemporary music series at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (2022).

Gretchen completed her DMA and MM at Temple University (Philadelphia), where she studied in the studio of Charles Abramovic as a University Fellow.  She received her undergraduate degree from Houghton University, where she studied under Leon Fleisher student William Newbrough. Gretchen has performed in masterclasses led by Garrick Ohlsson, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Jerome Rose, Marcantonio Barone, Angela Cheng, Benedetto Lupo, Louis Lortie, and Sonia Lee (harpsichord), among others. A semifinalist in the Pianale International Piano Academy and Competition in Schlitz, Germany, she has also been a selected participant of the rigorous Domaine Forget Solo Piano program in Québec, Canada, the Chautauqua Piano Program, the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in NYC, and has studied harpsichord in classes with Ketil Haugsand at the Ringve Early Music program at Sund in Trøndelag, Norway. Other past teachers include Ms. Natalie Zhu, Ms. Rebecca Penneys, Dr. Michael Landrum, Dr. Samuel Hsu, and Ms. Monique Leduc.

Also sought-after as a teacher, her private students have taken several recent top prizes at the US Open Piano Competition and the Artciál International Piano Competition, and are currently (2023) finalists in the Artciál International Piano Competition, the US International Music Competition, and the 19th Century Music Competition (Charleston International Piano Competition). Gretchen has given multiple masterclasses for university music majors, and formerly lectured in Piano and Music History (antiquity to late Baroque) at Eastern University and in Applied Piano at Houghton University. In addition to her studio of approximately twenty students, she also serves as piano faculty at the Csehy Summer School of Music.

Graduate research areas include her dissertation on the signification of the sublime aesthetic in Romantic piano repertoire, a semiotic theory of Sehnsucht in the music of Edvard Grieg, a linear-motivic analysis of Bartók’s Piano Sonata Sz. 80 (Sostenuto e pesante), and a lecture-recital on Norwegian piano repertoire of the early to mid-20th century, among others.  Gretchen maintains both her dog Mishka and her studio in San Jose.