Balge to be featured on MPR-sponsored show

Bethel Balge (music) will participate in a special concert in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Saturday, March 16, 2013. The concert is part of a series of events held throughout Minneapolis/St, Paul under the moniker “Before Bach’s Birthday Bash.” All performers will 
play music penned by J.S. Bach.

The concert will be broadcast live at 9 a.m. on Minnesota Public
 Radio with Michael Barone (Pipe Dreams) as host.

Michigan-born and Wisconsin raised, Bethel Balge moved to New Ulm in 1995 after almost six years’ residence in Mainz, Germany. There she studied piano performance with Professor Herbert Seidel at the StaatlicheHochschulefuerMusik und darstellendeKunst, a department of the University of Frankfurt.  In 1994 the Hochschule granted her a Diploma, the German equivalent of an American master’s degree in music.  At invitation of the Hochschule faculty board of examiners, Balge continued her studies at the Konzertexam level, the terminal program of the German university system.
In addition to appearances in the American Midwest, Balge has performed in Germany, Portugal (Porto International Piano Competition), and Russia (concerts with the Veronisch Philharmonic).  Her performance in Germany of Ravel’s difficult Gaspard de la Nuit attracted the notice of the Frankfurter AllgemeineZeitung, which wrote of her “highly concentrated, technically secure and captivating interpretation.”

From 1983-1987 Balge studied with Ralph Votapek at Michigan State University where she received her bachelor of arts in music in piano performance.  The College of Arts and Letters recognized her with the Louis B. Sudler Award, given to the senior “who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the creative or performing arts while at Michigan State University.”  In addition to the HochschuleDiplom, she also holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin.

Balge teaches piano at Bethany Lutheran College and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota under the tutelage of Lydia Artymiw. Balge was a featured performer during a faculty recital held in Bethany’s Trinity Chapel on January 17, 2012.

Balge’s participation will occur at Luther Seminary. The concerts are free and open to the public.