The Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts presents the Millar Piano Duo on Feb. 6 in a free recital of classical and contemporary works for two pianos. The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Squires Recital Salon.

Gregory Millar and Lisa Raposa, the husband-wife duo, have been performing together since 2008. Their program will open with the popular “Scaramouche” by 20th-century French composer Darius Milhaud, and incude “Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major,” K. 448 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; “Piano Sonata for Four Hands” by Francis Poulenc; “Variations on a Theme by Haydn,” Op. 56b by Johannes Brahms; and “Piano Piece No. 5” by Frank Horvat.

Horvat’s composition received its world premiere by the Millar Piano Duo in 2017. “The piano has always been a central instrument in all my work, so it’s nice to share a piece like this that attempts to push the intensity of both the virtuosity and expressiveness of two pianists to a whole other strata,” said Horvat, a Toronto-based composer. The combination of two pianos creates a big sound, Horvat added, allowing the piece to “feel orchestral but with the one-dimensional nature of the timbre.”

Millar maintains a career as a soloist and chamber musician. His playing has been described as “compelling,” “a tour de force,” and “devastatingly beautiful” in “The Muskokan.” He has appeared as concerto soloist with the Kindred Spirits Orchestra as well as the Mississauga Symphony, and has partnered with many prominent artists and ensembles, including violinist Jasper Wood, violist George Taylor, soprano Melanie Conly, the Talisker Players, and the Venuti String Quartet.

Raposa leads an active career as a recitalist, adjudicator, and instructor. Recognized for the clarity of her playing, she has appeared as a collaborator in established venues such as Koerner Hall, the Toronto Convention Centre, the Gardiner Museum, and Gallery 345. Raposa has been teaching piano privately for more than 20 years. 

Both Millar and Raposa perform regularly on “The Piano Lunaire,” a monthly series devoted to music of the 20th and 21st centuries, and at Gallery 345 in Toronto. They also conduct workshops, including, most recently, “An Exploration of Piano Duets from the 18th Century Onward,” which provides teachers with an overview of four-hand music suitable for different levels. 

View videos of the Millar Piano Duo here

The Recital Salon is located on the second floor of Squires Student Center, located at 290 College Ave. in Blacksburg. Admission is free; no reservations are required. Free parking is available after 5 p.m. weekdays in the Squires Lot, located at the corner of College Avenue and Otey Street; the Architecture Annex Lot on Otey Street; and the Perry Street/Prices Fork lots. Find more parking information online or call 540-231-3200. Alternative parking is available in the Kent Squires parking garage and the Farmers Market metered parking lot, both located on Draper Road. Additional downtown Blacksburg parking information is available online.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please email Susan Sanders or call 540-231-5200 during regular business hours at least eight days prior to the event.

Other upcoming School of Performing Arts music events include Music on Mondays with Peter Steiner, trombone and Constanze Hochwartner, piano, on Feb. 24; VT Jazz Ensembles on Feb. 28; VT Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band on Mar. 1; Fifth Bridge electro-acoustic trumpet quintet on Mar. 17; and “Mosaic for Earth,” a new work for choir and orchestra by music faculty member Dwight Bigler on Apr. 3.  View all School of Performing Arts events here.

Written by Susan Sanders