A grand opening

Acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin — music director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., and conductor laureate of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra — led more than a dozen student, faculty and alumni pianists last Sunday as part of “Piano Extravaganza.” The concert, organized by the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences, marked the formal opening of the University’s newly renovated 560 Music Center in University City. The event, which was held in the 1,115-seat E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall, featured the premiere of “All Hands on Dec,” an original composition for 10 pianists by Martin Kennedy, Ph. D., assistant professor of music, as well as works by Richard Wagner, Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz von Suppé, Edvard Grieg, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Francis Poulenc and John Philip Sousa.