Classical recording by Wake Forest pianist on Arkivmusic's top 25 list

By Cheryl Walker
January 17, 2006

A recording by Wake Forest University music professor and concert pianist Peter Kairoff of the music of American composer George Whitefield Chadwick was included on ArkivMusic's list of the top 25 recordings of 2005.

Peter Kairoff

"American Character: Piano Music of George Whitefield Chadwick" was the third in Kairoff's series of recordings highlighting little-known works by American composers of the 19th century.

"This is a delightful disc, full of charming music from one of America's most respected composers of the 19th and early 20th centuries," wrote the ArkivMusic reviewer. ArkivMusic is an online retailer of classical music recordings.

Chadwick, a high-profile composer in the 1890s and early 1900s, slipped into obscurity after his death in 1931, as the works of George Gershwin and Aaron Copland grew increasingly popular. Because Chadwick's scores were long out of print, Kairoff had to search the Library of Congress and various libraries in New England to find the composer's music before he could record it.

"This wonderful music is part of our heritage as Americans. It's like having a beautiful painting from a hundred years ago. Why in the world don't you dust it off and take it out," says Kairoff.

Born in Los Angeles, Kairoff received master's and doctoral degrees in music performance from the University of Southern California. He also studied in Italy for two years as a Fulbright Scholar and Rotary International Fellow before joining the Wake Forest faculty in 1988. He has performed as pianist and harpsichordist in Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, Venice, New York, Los Angeles and many other musical centers.