Pianist Sara Davis Buechner to perform and speak of her transgender journey
November 11, 2019
Sara Davis Buechner takes the stage at Virginia Tech on Nov. 18 for a program of solo piano works by Mozart, Brahms, Taku, and Gershwin.
The performance will take place at 8 p.m. in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre of the Moss Arts Center at 190 Alumni Mall in Blacksburg.
Lauded for her “intelligence, integrity, and all-encompassing technical prowess” (The New York Times), “thoughtful artistry in the full service of music” (The Washington Post), and “astounding virtuosity” (The Philippine Star), Japan’s InTune magazine sums up: “Buechner has no superior.”
In her 20s, Buechner earned a bouquet of top prizes at the world’s premier international piano competitions — Queen Elisabeth (Brussels), Leeds, Mozart (Salzburg), Beethoven (Vienna), and Sydney. She was a bronze medalist of the 1986 Tchaikowsky Competition in Moscow and the gold medalist of the 1984 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition.
In her mid-thirties, Buechner began her transition from male (David) to female, a choice she had long deferred from fear of professional ramifications and discrimination. In September 1998, she made her “second debut” as Sara Davis Buechner. As a proud transgender woman, Buechner also appears as a speaker and performer at important LGBTQ+ events, and has contributed interviews and articles about her own experience to numerous media outlets worldwide.
Buechner has performed with top orchestras and in such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Hollywood Bowl. She has toured throughout Latin and South America and Europe, and she enjoys a special following in Asia. She has commissioned and premiered contemporary scores, and her performance versatility extends to unique collaborations with film and dance.
Stereophile magazine selected her Gershwin CD as its “Recording of the Month,” and her interpretation of Hollywood Piano Concertos won Germany’s coveted Deutsches Schauplatten Preis. Most recently, her recorded traversal of the score to Carl Dreiser’s silent movie classic “Master of the House” (1925) may be heard on Criterion Collection DVD.
Buechner joined the faculty of Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance in 2016, after previously teaching at the Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and the University of British Columbia. In 2017, she marked her 30th year as a dedicated Yamaha Artist.
Buechner’s performance at Virginia Tech is a special Music on Mondays event co-presented by the School of Performing Arts and the Moss Arts Center.
While visiting Virginia Tech, Buechner will also present a free Brown Bag Lunch Lecture titled “A Life in Two Keys.” The talk will be held in the Cube at the Moss Arts Center at noon on the day of her performance. She will talk about transgender issues and her journey as a transgender woman.
Tickets for the performance are $15 for the general public, $12 for seniors, and $10 for students, and may be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center’s box office, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.
Upcoming School of Performing Arts events include the Virginia Tech Jazz Ensembles on Nov. 19 at the Lyric Theatre and the Virginia Tech Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band on Nov. 20 in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, Moss Arts Center. View all School of Performing Arts events here.