Soka University Presents World Touring Pianist Dan Franklin Smith in a Scholarship Benefit Concert in Founders Hall on February 8, 2002

NEWS RELEASE January 28, 2002

Wendy Harder, SUA
(949) 480-4081
Lisa Lu, SUA
(949) 480-4083


Hailed by critics in the United States and abroad as "a glorious soloist" (BBC Music Magazine--March 2000) and "an incredibly sensitive player with a beautiful tone, a rich technique and a modest off-stage personality that belies his on-stage strength" (Brooklyn Eagle, May 2001), pianist Dan Franklin Smith will perform a benefit concert at Soka University's Founders Hall on Friday, February 8, 2002 at 8 p.m.  Admission is free but attendees are asked to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Soka University Scholarship Endowment. Seating will be first come, first served and no tickets are required.

This performance is Smith's debut at Soka University. In the U.S. he has appeared as soloist, chamber musician and vocal accompanist at such venues as the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Cleveland Museum's Distinguished Artist Series, and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. He has also toured in Bermuda, Taiwan, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and has been featured on several radio broadcasts in the US. 

Smith is a graduate of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor where he studied with Benning Dexter, and later in New York with the well-known concert pianist, Constance Keene. His achievements include a rapturously received premiere recording of Swedish composer Kurt Atterberg's piano concerto in 1999, a recording of solo piano pieces for Sveriges Radio in 2000, Swedish TV, other recital and orchestral dates in Sweden, England, Germany and France.

Mr. Smith's benefit concert is part of his second West Coast tour.  Upcoming tours include a return recital at London's St. Martin-in-the-Fields in March. In July he will record two concertos by Swiss composer Hans Huber with the Stuttgart Philharmonic.  He is contributing his time for the Soka University concert to benefit students who would not be able to attend the new liberal arts college without financial assistance. 

His February 8th concert will include four sonatas by Antonio Soler (1729-1783), the Sonata Sanlucar de Barrameda by Joaquin Turina (1882-1949), the Ballade in F Minor Opus 52 by Frederic Chopin (1809-1849), three preludes by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), Danza (Tus ojos) by Jose Quinton (1881-1925) and Plenas Nr. 1 by Hector Campos-Parsi (1914-1998).

Founders Hall is the domed building located at the front of the Soka University campus, which is located off of Wood Canyon Drive one mile south of Pacific Park Drive in Aliso Viejo.  A map and directions can be found at  on our Directions page.  Parking is free.

Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo is a private, non-profit, four-year liberal arts college located adjacent to the City of Laguna Beach in South Orange County.  SUA, AV opened to its first 120 first year students from 18 countries and 18 states on August 24, 2001.  The campus has a 9:1 student/faculty ratio and an average class size of 16.  All students study a foreign language and do an international internship in that language during a semester of their junior year.   Eastern and Western perspectives are taught across the curriculum.  SUA, AV offers a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts, with concentrations in Humanities, International Studies and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Founded on the Buddhist principles of peace, human rights and the sanctity of life, SUA offers a non-sectarian curriculum and is open to students of all nationalities and beliefs.