Season Finale “Liberace” draws renowned Liberace Foundation Scholar
On May 17, 2019, the evening following Liberace’s 100th anniversary, the Henderson Symphony Orchestra presents the season finale of its summer series, entitled “Liberace.”
A Peabody Institute Faculty member, Leon Fleischer protégé and Liberace Scholar, renowned pianist Michael Sheppard is anticipated to play Le Tombeau de Liberace from Michael Daugherty’s American Icons.
Michael Sheppard is one of over 2700 students who have received scholarship assistance from the Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts. New Liberace Scholars continue to be announced each year.
Mr. Sheppard will be playing Liberace’s famed Crystal Grand Piano, most recently seen on the 2019 Grammys where it was played by Chloe Flower during the performance of Cardi B.
This is the Crescendo of the summer series conducted by the incredible Alexandra Arrieche, who fought to make sure this celebration of Liberace would take place here in the metropolitan area of the entertainer’s greatest fame.
“In the 19th century
era of the piano and romanticism, classical music was the dance music of the ballrooms. We could compare J. Strauss II to ABBA. Franz Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Chopin had the same impact on the audiences as Elvis, Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury. Somehow, we lost this connection. Classical music went through a dark period. Criticizing was more important than enjoying and appreciating.
Then came Liberace.
He boldly filled the gap we had created between classical and pop music. His crossover style has been copied by all generations since. He brought the instrumental symphonic music back to the masses. His persona, his fashion, his style, the way he communicated and made the audiences feel included and appreciated is what brought about the modern residency model, as he personified the very image of Las Vegas around the world.”