Pianist Sara Buechner to deliver Roosevelt Lecture

Internationally renowned pianist Sara Davis Buechner will deliver the Women’s and Gender Studies Program’s seventh annual Eleanor Roosevelt Lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 28.

The Eleanor Roosevelt Lecture Series was created by the Women's and Gender Studies Program in 2004 to honor Eleanor Roosevelt’s commitment to social justice and her important place in women’s history. First Lady and U.N. Ambassador Eleanor Roosevelt served on Brandeis University’s Board of Trustees from 1949 until her death in 1962 and was visiting lecturer of international relations from 1959 to 1962. She gave the University’s first commencement address in 1952, receiving an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters in 1954.

Buechner’s lecture is titled “Crossing the Concourse: a Musical Life in Two Keys.”

The night before the lecture, Buechner will perform a solo recital including works by Bach (three transcriptions from the Busoni school), Mozart, Chopin, Yukiko Nishimura, Kouji Taku and Gershwin.

Both the recital and the lecture will take place in Rapaporte Treasure Hall in the Goldfarb Library. The recital will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 27. The lecture will be the next day, at 5 p.m.

Buechner made her New York debut in April 1984, performing as David Buechner. For the next 15 years, she built an important career as a solo pianist, chamber musician, soloist with top orchestras, and recording artist. Then, at the age of 38, with a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria, Buechner made the decision to undergo gender reassignment. Reaction from the classical music community was not supportive, and it quickly became apparent that a new career would have to be built largely without support she had previously enjoyed as a man.

In 2003, Buechner accepted an appointment to the piano faculty of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. The move to a new coast and country provided fresh impetus to her career, and she quickly became a fixture on the Canadian music scene. Her career in the United States is now growing again, and she has an avid following in Japan.

Both events are free and open to the public, but tickets, available from the Brandeis Box Office (781-736-3400), are required for the recital. For more information, please contact Katie Dalton in the Women's and Gender Studies office, 781-736-3045 or daltonka@brandeis.edu.

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