BERKELEY -- Pianist Margret Elson, of Rockridge, will play a program of J.S. Bach, Mompou, Levitzki and Chopin in a Saturday benefit recital at the Berkeley Piano Club for Young People's Symphony Orchestra.

Elson's program will include Johann Sebastian Bach's "Partita in E minor," Frederic Mompou's "Canciones y Danzas Nos. 6 and 8," Mischa Levitzki's "Arabesque Valsante," and Chopin's "Two Nocturnes, Op. 55, No. 1 in F Minor" and "Op. 27 No. 2 in Db Major," "Impromptu in Gb Major, Op. 51," and "Ballade in F Minor, Op. 52."

Elson began her musical studies at Juilliard School of Music, preparatory division, where she was a piano scholarship student for 10 years. At Juilliard, she studied with Edgar Roberts, a protégé of Roslyn Tureck, who was then considered one of the major Bach interpreters, helping bring Bach back into the mainstream of the classical repertoire. Elson continued studies in Paris and in the Bay Area with master teachers Alexander Libermann and Marjorie Petray and early music specialist Laurette Goldberg.

Elson performs throughout the Bay Area and is known for her interpretations of Bach and Chopin. She especially enjoys performing in benefits for young musicians and conservation groups.

In addition to performing as soloist and in ensemble, Elson frequently adjudicates competitions and has served as music director for the Junior Bach Festival Association in Berkeley.

For 25 years, she and her four-hand piano partner Elizabeth Swarthout concertized throughout California and on the East Coast.

Elson has been teaching and coaching musicians for more than 40 years in her Oakland studio and in workshops across the country, Oslo and London. She is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in performing and artistic issues and is author of the book "Passionate Practice: The Musician's Guide to Learning, Memorizing and Performing," which is on the reading list in many music departments. Her second book, now in progress, is "The Couch and the Piano," in which Elson describes the interrelation between her professions as musician and therapist.

She has been a board member of the Young People's Symphony Orchestra since 2008, and is on the boards of the Music Teachers Association, Alameda, and the Berkeley Piano Club. For more information about YPSO, go to www.ypsomusic.net, email ypsomusic@yahoo.com, or call 510-849-9776.

-- Keith Gleason

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