Before saying adios to DeKalb to join a Mexican symphonic orchestra in Culiacon, popular violinist and pianist Laura Hauer will perform in a farewell chamber concert at Federated United Church of Christ in Sycamore.
The evening of chamber music begins at 7 p.m. today in the church’s sanctuary. Hauer will be joined by fellow Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra colleagues Victor Rhyzhov, Gary Mattin, Lynn Vogl and Thomas Cappaert, as well as Genoa pianist Mark Potaczak.
A graduate student at Northern Illinois University and instructor in violin and piano with the NIU Community School of the Arts, Hauer is one of the area’s most versatile musicians – in demand as both a violinist and piano accompanist. She said the move is “the dream job that I’ve always imagined. In addition to playing weekly concerts with the symphony, I’ll have the opportunity to explore many other areas.”
A native of Fond du Lac. Wis., Hauer’s devotion to both violin and piano appears to be genetic; she has three brothers and a sister who all play both instruments. One brother now has added guitar and two others are also music majors and dual instrument performers. “My sister is in grade school so she hasn’t chosen her instruments yet,” she said.
Performing and teaching on both instruments is a welcome challenge, Hauer said.
“I think of the violin as work and of the piano as fun,” she said. “The approach with the violin is often so so much harder whereas the piano comes much more naturally. The two instruments interact in ways that occasionally surprise me. Playing the violin makes me a better accompanist on the piano. And much of the technique I use as a pianist transfers to the violin.”
Hauer received her undergraduate degree in violin and piano from Lawrence University and has studied with Mathias Tacke at NIU. Thursday she will perform a Bach Trio with Vogl and Ryzhov, the Beethovan Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 7 with Ryzhov, and a Mendelsohn Piano Trio with Ryzhov and cellist Cappaert.
Mattin and Potaczak will perform the Clementi/Van Hulse Sonatina No. 3 for two pianos. A freewill collection will be taken to help support the church’s continuing concert series.
“I do enjoy performing the occasional solo piece on either instrument,” Hauer said. “But I would much rather play orchestral music on violin and chamber on piano. The group atmosphere reduces fear of mistakes and enhances creativity because everyone feeds off of each other. My position in Culiacon promises to be the right blend of everything and I’m really looking forward to it.”