The Music House welcomes back the incredible ragtime pianist, Peter Bergin, as part of our concert series, back by popular demand. Bergin’s 2015 and 2016 concerts were such hits that we had to invite him back! He will bring even more Ragtime fun while moving around and entertaining on many of our wonderful pianos. This year’s concert will feature music from ‘Gottschalk to Gershwin’.
Bergin is a pianist and vocalist whose refined singing and energetic ragtime has entertained audiences for over 25 years. After a long career as a computer scientist, Peter is now in full-time pursuit of his life-long desire to share music with the world. Join us for an evening of ragtime music and history as Peter moves around the museum playing on many of our pianos.
Ragtime is a musical genre that enjoyed its peak popularity between 1895 and 1918. Its cardinal trait is its syncopated, or “ragged,” rhythm. It began as dance music in the red-light districts of African-American communities in St. Louis years before being published as popular sheet music for piano. Ernest Hogan (1865–1909) was an innovator and key pioneer who helped popularize the musical genre, and is credited for coining the term ragtime. Perhaps its most famous composer was Scott Joplin who became famous through the publication of the “Maple Leaf Rag” (1899) and a string of ragtime hits such as “The Entertainer” (1902), although he was later forgotten by all but a small, dedicated community of ragtime aficionados until the major ragtime revival in the early 1970s. Ragtime fell out of favor as jazz claimed the public’s imagination after 1917, but there have been numerous revivals since the music has been re-discovered.