In 1973 Spanish pianist Alicia de Larrocha came to Wheaton College to perform Isaac Albéniz’s monumental “Iberia,” a work for which de Larrocha was famous. Linton was the student manager of the college’s concert series at the time and learning, as he drove her to the college from her Chicago hotel, that it was the birthday of the pianist’s daughter, Linton arranged an impromptu birthday party at the concert’s close. De Larrocha was genuinely touched and that occasion began a friendship between the pianist and the composer that lasted thirty years.
The suite “Las fuentes del café del rey moro” is a testament of that friendship. Composed in 1975, the work is strongly evocative of Albéniz’s music — and is as treacherously difficult. It was also completely antithetical to the Webern mania that served as orthodoxy in “smart” compositional circles at the time. The work’s brilliant color, melody, and neo-tonality, as well as its emphasis on locale and elements of personal importance both to the composer and his circle foreshadowed things that would become central to Linton’s later music.
The “café of the Moroccan King” was a restaurant in San Diego’s Balboa Park. Built in 1914 for the Panama-California Exposition, during Linton’s childhood many of the park’s fabulous Churriqueresque-style buildings had fallen into neglect and much of the park was a picturesque ruin. The suite is an reminiscence of the beauties of that park experienced through the eyes of a child. The first movement is “the avenue of ten thousands fountains”, the second “the pool of the stone lion” and the third is “the fountains of fire and water.” It is dedicated to de Larrocha.
Pianist Lynn Rice-See is one of the best known pianists in the South East.
Since her 1982 Carnegie Recital Hall debut, she has performed as recitalist, concerto soloist, and chamber musician on both sides of the Atlantic, playing with the Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra in the Czech Republic and in the US with the Gulf Coast, Huntsville, Johnson City, and Kingsport symphonies. The Ministere de la Communauté Français presented Rice-See in recital in Brussels and the German-American Institute of Saarbrücken sponsored her in a tour of Germany. Between 1991 and 1994 she was a member of the Tennessee Arts Commission, presenting recitals throughout the state. Rice-See is particularly admired for the depth of her interpretations of Berg, Scriabin, and Schubert and has released several CD’s featuring this repertoir.
Rice-See is currently Professor of Piano at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro where she oversees the university’s program in keyboard music. A former student of Walter Hautzig, Beveridge Webster and John Perry, Rice-See holds degrees from the Peabody Conservatory (B.Mus.), The Juilliard School (M.Mus) and the University of Southern California (D.M.A.). From 1989-2005 she was a member of the piano faculty at East Tennessee State University. She has also taught at the Manhattan School of Music in New York and at William Carey College.
Her critically acclaimed book, The Piano Teaching of Walter Hautzig was published by Edwin Mellen Press in 2008.