KEARNEY — As a young piano student, Nathan Buckner knew of the fame of Ian Hobson.
“I had read about him when he won the Leeds competition,” said the University of Nebraska at Kearney music professor. “When I was going through school, Ian Hobson was kind of a legend. As is always the case, with extraordinary performers like him, what’s important is what he went on to do.”
After winning first prize in the 1981 Leeds International Pianoforte Competition at the age of 29, the British-born musician made his United States’ debut two years later.
“Beyond having won a major international competition like that, he is certainly very prolific in a number of ways,” Buckner said. “I know Ian Hobson’s name, in part, because he did an anthology of recordings called ‘The London Piano School’ focusing on English piano music of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.”
Hobson will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday as part of the Concerts on the Platte series and the Nebraska Music Teachers Association’s state conference. The concert takes place in the Fine Arts Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus.
Admission is free.
The program includes music by Frédéric Chopin, Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy.
“As you can see from his program he’s bringing here, Ian Hobson is quite versatile in terms of his repertoire,” Buckner said.
Hobson currently teaches at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“He brings a sense of perspective to us,” Buckner said. “To the students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, he brings an incredible amount of perspective. As faculty here we try to infuse students with the idea that there is life beyond a town of 30,000 people, in terms of scope and quality of what exists in the field. Someone with the stature of Hobson, coming to Kearney, Neb., to perform is very important.”
Over the course of his career, Hobson has performed with many of the world’s major orchestras.
In 1984 Hobson founded Sinfonia da Camera, a professional chamber orchestra based in Illinois. The chamber orchestra performs six concerts a year and often brings in featured players from the classic world.
In 1996 he debuted in the dual role of conductor and piano soloist.
The Nebraska Music Teachers Association state conference, Thursday and Friday, will attract music teachers from throughout the state for workshops and additional performances. For more information on the conference visit www.nebmta.org.