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Pianist John Mortensen to Present an Afternoon of Improvised Music

January 19, 2018
Otterbein University

Westerville, OH—Otterbein University will host guest pianist John Mortensen for a recital of improvised music at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 28, in Riley Auditorium at the Battelle Fine Arts Center, 170 W. Park Street. This event is free and open to the public.

Mortensen will improvise music in a variety of styles spanning the centuries. This is the first event of the spring semester Sundays at Otterbein series, which will continue at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 4, with Patchwork, a saxophone and percussion duo.

More information about the Otterbein University Department of Music and its concert schedule can be found at http://www.otterbein.edu/music. For more information about this event, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/133206464027711/.

John Mortensen is a pianist, improviser, educator, and author. Appearing frequently as concert artist and masterclass teacher at colleges and universities internationally, he is noted for his ability to improvise entire concerts, including complex compositions such as Baroque preludes and fugues.

Mortensen is committed to educating young musicians for the 21st century and places special emphasis on developing courses that bring improvisation back to the standard college music curriculum. He is a professor of piano at Cedarville University. In 2016 he was named Faculty Scholar of the Year, that institution’s highest award. His students learn a natural and coordinated approach to piano technique that prevents injury and allows for unprecedented freedom and facility at the keyboard. He is a Steinway Artist and an Ohio Artist on Tour. In 2017 he was selected as a Fulbright Specialist by the U.S. Department of State to serve as an international artistic ambassador on behalf of the American people. In 2018 he will tour Europe for three months, performing and teaching improvised music at conservatories across the continent.

Mortensen studied with Lynne Bartholomew at the University of Michigan and Anne Koscielny and Raymond Hanson at the University of Maryland, receiving his doctorate in piano performance from the latter. He holds National Certification in Piano through the Music Teacher’s National Association and was recently recognized as an Excellence in Education honoree by the Ohio Senate. His publications appear in International Piano, Clavier, College Music Symposium, Piano Pedagogy Forum, and American Music Teacher. Visit his website at www.johnmortensen.com.

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