Sara Davis Buechner
Saturday, November 17, 7pm
Lilian Piercey Concert Hall, Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts
6199 Chebucto Road
Pianist Sara Davis Buechner is ready to give Halifax concertgoers a recital they won't soon forget. An acclaimed musician who's seen her share of personal and professional struggles as a transgender individual, it's a miracle she's here to share her talents—a testament to the resilience music has provided her.
Playing piano from three years old, Davis Buechner says "we don't choose music—it chooses us." Growing up in the 1960s Baltimore suburbs, her uncommon dreams alone caused the musician to stand out. Being transgender made matters worse.
Playing alongside orchestras and philharmonics, she hid her identity by cross-dressing, until she found the strength to live her truth. "Coming out in 1998 effectively ended my professional life in the United States," says Davis Buechner. "I was fired from an important teaching position, unable to get concert work and blacklisted by presenters and musical colleagues whom I considered friends."
Destitute and nearly homeless, music carried the pianist through tough times. Working for $600 a month at a community music school, she eventually began teaching at the University of British Columbia—signalling a career rebirth followed by opportunities in the recording arts and symphonic worlds. "Music is always in my soul to provide direction, comfort and clarity," she says. "It is for me, the sound of god, and that humbles and delights me."
She'll be delivering a fantastic solo recital to Halifax, featuring works by Mozart, Suesse and Gershwin. Ultimately, it's a chance for audiences to witness the power of music—something Davis Buechner knows all too well. "The magic of music is that every person in the audience can take something different away from what happens on stage," she says. "I'm happy if people enjoy what I do, how I do it and if it opens a few inner doors and outer ears."