TCU Daily Skiff Tuesday, February 03, 2004
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Concert celebrates the life, work of pianist Lili Kraus
An internationally renowned pianist and former faculty member was remembered this weekend by an overflow crowd at PepsiCo Recital Hall.

By Julia Mae Jorgensen
Staff Reporter

Through video clippings and classical piano pieces, pianist Madame Lili Kraus came to life Sunday to celebrate what would have been her 100th birthday.

“I am just overwhelmed,” said Jo Boatright, co-founder of the Walden Piano Quartet and Voices of Change in Dallas. “It brought tears to my eyes.”Sunday’s concert featured some of Kraus’s favorite pieces by Mozart, Franz Schubert and Béla Bartók. Boatright and José Feghali, a 1985 Cliburn gold medalist, performed solos. Dale Fundling, a graduate of the TCU School of Music and a teacher at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, joined Boatright for a Mozart performance.

The celebration also featured video clippings of Kraus’s live performances, including her critically acclaimed concert of the 25 Mozart concertos.

“She was a real unique soul,” Boatright said. “She lived for music.”

Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1903, Kraus began studying piano at the age of 6. Throughout her life, she performed on six continents and continued touring until 1981, just five years before her death. Kraus came to TCU in 1962 to serve on the first jury of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. She returned again in 1967 to join the faculty at the School of Music where she was artist-in-residence and professor of piano until 1981.

Feghali, current artist-in-residence, performed in the second half of the program. He said Kraus’s music served to inspire the early days of his musical career. “My teachers in Brazil highly admired Madame Kraus' work,” Feghali said. “I had the opportunity to hear some of her recordings very early on, which were quite inspirational.” Taiko Pelick, a freshman piano performance major, said she attended Sunday’s performance out of curiosity and admiration. “I really didn’t know much about Lili Kraus,” Pelick said, “but I wanted to know more.”

The Lili Kraus Centennial Celebration filled PepsiCo Recital Hall and left several audience members standing.

Ty Halasz/Staff Photographer
Pianists Dale Fundling (bottom left) and Jo Boatright perform a Mozart sonata for a packed house Sunday afternoon in PepsiCo Recital Hall in rememberance of former TCU faculty member Lili Kraus.
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