Piano Recital at Memorial Celebration in Honor of Edsger W. Dijkstra

November 21, 2002

The heart of the Memorial Celebration was a piano recital featuring several pieces of which Edsger was particularly fond. Following the brief speeches, the remainder of the program included the pieces listed below, played movingly by Professor Gregory Allen.

Musical Notes

Although Edsger's favorite composer was Mozart, his musical tastes ranged as far back as Tartini and Corelli, and in the last couple of decades he had developed an enthusiasm for Dvorak.

Edsger was a longtime supporter of Austin's classical music radio station, KMFA. One of KMFA's business supporters, Mathematics, Inc., is familiar to readers of the EWD series (e.g., EWD 442) as Edsger¹s long-running spoof of the software industry.

Edsger was himself an accomplished pianist. He owned, shipped twice across the Atlantic, and often played, a Bösendorfer grand piano (Model 170).

The pieces in this recital included ones Edsger played and to which he liked to listen. During his years in Austin, he attended and particularly enjoyed numerous performances by Professor Allen.

The Pianist

Gregory Allen is Professor of Piano in the School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin. Professor Allen was the Grand Prize winner of the 1980 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv, won the second prize at the 1978 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, and received top honors in the Los Angeles Young Musicians Foundation, the Gina Bachauer, and the Washington International Competitions.

Professor Allen has appeared with the New York, Los Angeles, and Israel Philharmonics, as well as orchestras in San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.

The Music

Sonata in A Major, K. 331
      I. Andante grazioso (Theme and Variations)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Sonata in E-flat Major, Hob. 52
      II. Adagio
Joseph Haydn

Sonata in A, K. 331
      III. Allegretto alla Turca
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Impromptu in G-flat, Op. 90 No. 3
Franz Schubert

Mazurka in C# minor, Op. 30 No. 4
Frédéric François Chopin

Barcarolle in F# Major, Op. 60
Frédéric François Chopin

Intermezzo in E Major, Op. 116 No. 4
Johannes Brahms