Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Eugene Rowley, a greatly talented young pianist now living in Austin, Texas, made his Washington debut Sunday night in a very successful concert at the National Gallery.
With the technical equipment to handle whatever he chooses, Rowley also has an obvious interest in bringing music to life. He found the way to give the A Minor Theme and Variations by paderewski their proper weight with a strong suggestion here and there are more than mere charm. In the Beethoven E Flat Sonata of Opus 31, he reminded his audience of the may times and ways that Beethoven does the unexpected. It was an imaginative performance.
Completely unafraid of great challenges in the literature, Rowley closed the first half of his concert with Liszt's "Funerailles," the second half with the big B Flat Minor Sonata by Rachmaninov. In between he brought out a totally attractive novelty by New York critic-composer Harriet Johnson, called Question I, II, III. These are beautifully worked out miniatures with a welcome hint now and then of Poulenc. Johnson was in the audience to share the applause.
For the big pieces, Rowley called up immense reserves in power, never losing sight of the requisite style. The Rachmaninov came off in triumph, which is not mean feat. The most familiar "Liebestraum" was an ideal encore to end a fine debut.