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UTPA’s PARA hosts Raimo piano concert
By Marian Monta
Posted: 02/11/2011
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Dr. John Raimo, an internationally recognized concert pianist and retired music professor from The University of Texas-Pan American, will perform a program of Hispanic piano music Wednesday, March 2, in the UTPA Fine Arts Auditorium.

The free concert is the first public event sponsored by PARA, the newly formed UT Pan American Retirees Association. The program will begin at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a reception in the lobby at 8 p.m.


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- Dr. John Raimo
"Dr. Raimo is still at the peak of his powers as a pianist," explained Dr. Marian Monta, PARA program committee chair. “We thought this was a great way to inaugurate our programs, by sharing with the public, as well as our members, the talents of one of our group. The event is free and open to everyone, not just PARA members."

Dr. Dahlia Guerra, dean of the UTPA College of Arts and Humanities, was a student of Raimo's for many years and recalled that he was among the initial performers in the University's Fine Arts Auditorium when it was completed in 1969.

"He is a truly outstanding pianist and has been an inspiration to hundreds of students who have entered our Music Department doors, myself included,” Guerra said.

Raimo taught at UTPA for 43 years. After studying with many of the great piano teachers, he received his doctorate and performer's certificate from the famed Eastman School of Music. During his career, he has performed with many famous orchestras throughout the nation.

He is noted for presenting concerts that include all the musical greats. In 1988 he played the 32 sonatas of Beethoven in a series of eight concerts over a four-week period. In 1989, he performed all the Chopin etudes in one program. In 1990, he presented the complete solo piano works of Brahms and Ravel and all the piano sonatas, fantasies and rondos of Mozart in a series of 11 concerts.

In addition to his prodigious concert schedule, he was an acclaimed teacher. He was the 1990-1991 recipient of The University of Texas System Chancellor's Council Outstanding Teacher Award. At UTPA he received the Distinguished Faculty Award in 1985 and the Alumni Distinguished Faculty Teacher award in 1999.

PARA was formed in November 2010 with former UTPA professor Dr. Nancy Moyer serving as its first president. Retired faculty and staff interested in joining the Pan American Retirees Association or who want more information should contact the group's UTPA liaison, Christi Cantu, at (956) 665-3665 or accantu@utpa.edu.