[CUA Office of Public Affairs]

Renowned Pianist Gutiérrez Receives Honorary Degree

Internationally renowned pianist Horacio Gutiérrez was awarded an honorary doctor of music degree by the Very Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., President, at a December convocation ceremony in Ward Recital Hall.

Gutiérrez was to perform a free recital on campus this month, but due to illness the date has been changed to Monday, Feb. 7. The performance takes place at 8 p.m. in Ward Recital Hall and is open to the public.

The Cuban-born Gutiérrez, who has appeared all over the world as a recitalist, chamber music player and a soloist with the world's leading orchestras, was introduced at the convocation ceremony as a ‘‘pianist, gentleman and friend’’ by Elaine Walter, dean of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music. Cardinal Bernard Law, chairman of The Catholic University of America's Board of Trustees, spoke in praise of beauty, citing Pope John Paul II’s words about beauty being a key to the mystery and a call to transcendence.

Gutierrez, who lives in New York City, made his debut as a soloist with the local orchestra in Havana at age 11. He moved to Los Angeles with his family in the 1960s, became a naturalized citizen and continued his education at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. In 1970 at age 21, he won second prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. In 1982, he was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize.

In accepting his degree, Gutiérrez said CUA has ‘‘indirectly played a most important part in my life,’’ telling the audience that his wife, Patricia Asher, ‘‘is one of your outstanding graduates.’’ And in 1974, he practiced his Carnegie Hall recital program in Ward Hall. The pianist also sits on the board of the Latin American Center for Graduate Studies in Music at the music school.

On the program for Gutiérrez' Feb. 7 concert will be ‘‘Humoreske’’ in B-flat Major by Robert Schumann, Sonata No. 29 in B-flat, Op.106, by Ludwig van Beethoven, and some 20th-century works. At 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 8, Gutiérrez will give a master class entitled ‘‘Chopin and His Friends,’’ which commemorates the 150th anniversary of Chopin's death.

The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, one of the university’s 11 schools, celebrates its 50th anniversary in the millennium.

 

 

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Revised: January 19, 1999

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