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Pianist Donna Coleman ’74 Releases New CD, “The Lost Lady”

The Lost Lady cover

For her newly released album, The Lost Lady, pianist Donna Coleman ’74 chose music that links “diverse eras and styles to tell the story of Ragtime, of Bach the improviser and borrower, of Chopin’s improvisations that influenced Jazz pianists a century later.”

It is her second fully self-produced album for her label, OutBach, the first of which, Don’t Touch Me, was lauded as “a beautiful recording event. ...Everything here is a rare musical success, thanks to the serene majesty of the interpretation, the tone color, the presentation, and the interest and curiosity that these compositions arouse” according to musicologie.org.

Donna Coleman

These discs join critically acclaimed collections of the music of Charles Ives (Et’Cetera Records) and two ABC Classics (Sydney, Australia) releases, Rags to Riches: A Syncopated Century and Havana to Harlem. Donna has also recorded for Master Musicians Collective the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, written for her by Daniel Perlongo, IUP professor emeritus of music.

She said her mentor at IUP was Nicolò Sartori, with whom she initially studied the beautiful Ballade #4 by Chopin and became familiar with the Bach chorale prelude arrangements that are on this new album. She remains indebted to him for the musical, analytical, and spiritual insights he provided not only for this work but for her entire career. Donna has traveled the world on concert tours and, following a Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship, has spent the last 20 years working in Australia.

The Lost Lady gathers repertory from Bach to Chopin to composers associated with the 1960s Ragtime revival William Bolcom and William Albright to demonstrate how diverse and seemingly unrelated musical styles that evolved on all sides of the Atlantic Ocean coalesced into Ragtime and Jazz. The role of Cuba as a significant stop on the Transatlantic Slave Trade c. 1500–1860 and is demonstrated by weaving selected Danzas Cubanas (OutBach CN001) by Ignacio Cervantes into the musical and written narrative. Other composers whose works complete the saga include Scott Joplin, Ernesto Lecuona, Aurelio de la Vega, and Edmund Cionek. Coleman’s extensive liner notes, including compositional analysis, document the historical, cultural, and stylistic links between the works.

All of her compact discs are available on iTunes and Amazon. The Lost Lady can be previewed, ordered, and downloaded on CD Baby.