School of Music

Laura Kargul in concert, "Great Romantic Sonatas"

Laura Kargul, Great Romantic SonatasCritically acclaimed pianist Laura Kargul, of the University of Southern Maine School of Music, will present a program of two masterpieces from the Romantic piano sonata literature on Friday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m. in Corthell Concert Hall, College Avenue, USM Gorham.

Part of the USM School of Music’s Fall 2012 Spotlight Concert series, tickets cost $15 general public; $10 seniors/USM employees; $5 students/children. Reserve tickets at the USM Music Box Office: online at or by phone at (207) 780-5555.

The concert is sponsored by Dr. Dahlia and Arthur L. Handman.

The performance will be repeated at The Opera House in Boothbay Harbor on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2:00 p.m.  Tickets and information are available through the box office at 633-5159, or online at

Kargul will perform the Sonata in B-Flat Major, D. 960 by Franz Schubert, and the Sonata in B Minor, Op. 58, by Frédéric Chopin.  

"I have chosen these particular works because they so fully embody the mature styles of Schubert and Chopin, two composers with whom I feel an extremely strong connection," says Kargul.  "These are their last sonatas, and they were written within only 16 years of each other.  But Schubert and Chopin are so vastly different in character, culture and their use of musical language that these works seem worlds apart.  What they do share is a profound metaphysical quality, manifested in meditative, highly expressive passages, contrasting with dramatic outbursts of great exuberance and fire. 

"It’s always interesting to hear how post-Beethoven composers handled the sonata, that most classical of forms.  Beethoven’s impossibly high standard cast a shadow far into the nineteenth century. Some composers were intimidated, but not Schubert and Chopin. They embraced their innate Romantic sensibilities and made the sonata truly new and fascinating, poetic, exciting and stunningly beautiful.  Hearing these two monumental works back to back can be enlightening, inspiring, and, most of all, moving."  

Known especially for her playing of the virtuosic Romantic repertoire by composers such as Liszt and Chopin, Kargul has also garnered widespread critical acclaim for her mastery of Schubert:  

"How convincingly powerful and poetic, deeply lyrical and profound, will Kargul’s playing of Schubert's work be judged."  Wiesbadener Kurier (Wiesbaden, Germany)

"Laura Kargul performed the Schubert with great technical discipline and musical organization. She did the truly impossible: she downright sang on the piano."  Hessische/Niedersachsische Allgemeine  (Kassel, Germany)

Kargul is known as well for her informative and humorous comments from the stage.  “I love teaching as much as performing,” says Kargul.  “Audience members really seem to appreciate the opportunity to learn about this art form. Knowing more about the composers and their music vastly enhances the listening experience.”

Kargul has been the director of the keyboard program at USM since 1989.  A resident of Freeport, Maine, she has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician, adjudicator, lecturer and master class technician throughout Europe and the USA, as well as in Canada and the West Indies. Her solo performances have been greeted with critical acclaim in venues such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Schleswig-Holstein and Nordhessen Music Festivals in Germany, the Evian Music Festival in France, and the Lesvos Arts Festival in Greece.

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Reporters & photographers welcome. For pre-concert interviews, contact Lori Arsenault at 780-5142 or

PHOTOS available at