John Milbauer and Lauren Roth

Presto, Change-o, just like that, Steinway Artist and University of Arizona Professor of Music John Milbauer came up with a new plan.

Originally slated for a solo piano performance at the Arizona Senior Academy at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday (Sept. 5), Milbauer—an internationally hailed performer who has played everything from recitals at the Vienna State Opera and concertos with the Boston Pops to gigs with Pink Martini and the Mills Brothers (to say nothing of the ASA)—thought he’d double the pleasure and double the fun at his upcoming concert here. He’ll still play solo—the eternally popular and bracing “Military Polonaise” of Chopin—but he’s bringing along Tucson Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Lauren Roth for two extraordinary and contrasting works: the Franck Sonata for violin and piano in A major and the Mozart Sonata for piano and violin in E minor, K. 304. They’ll play both works a few nights later at the U of A.

This is an ASA debut for Roth, whom Milbauer calls “a world-class player” and whose pedigree—degrees from the University of Washington and the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with famed violinist William Preucil; stints at Tanglewood and other prestigious festivals; work with respected orchestras; and an assistant professorship at U of A—support his contention.  Certainly, it will take both players’ extraordinary virtuosity and musicianship for the big piece on the bill, the Franck sonata.

“While it is a staple of the violin repertoire, its great difficulty makes it daunting,” Milbauer aptly noted in an email. But it is also, as he said, “one of the most beautiful pieces of chamber music ever written.”

In scope. size and mood the Franck is a world apart from the Mozart Sonata on the program, “a favorite” of Milbauer’s notheless. “In only two movements, it is a haunting, spare work,” he wrote, pointing out that its minor key already makes it “quite rare” for Mozart. On top of that, he said, “it does contain some of Mozart’s most disarmingly touching phrases. It is a wonderful foil for the voluptuous Franck.”

Written by Susan Isaacs Nisbett, Academy Village Volunteer

More Info on attending an event
Academy Village is an active-adult community located off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East. Its residents support the Arizona Senior Academy, a non-profit charitable organization whose mission includes offering free concerts and lectures to the public.

These events are held in the Great Room of The ASA Building adjacent to the Academy Village Community Center. Due to the popularity of cultural events, non-residents who wish to ensure priority seating are advised to make reservations by email at or by phone at (520) 647-0980. To learn more about the Academy, go to

Parking for visitors is in the lot behind the Community Center. All parking spaces in front of the Academy building are reserved.

Milbauer and Roth to Perform Franck Sonata: September 2017
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