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Transgender Classical Pianist Sara Davis Buechner to Perform in Cincinnati

World-renowned concert pianist Sara Davis Buechner, who has been shunned by much of the classical music community in the United States since coming out as a transgender woman, will make her Cincinnati debut at Xavier University's Gallagher Theatre on Sunday, March 6.

Formerly known as David Buechner, the Juilliard-trained musician performed for more than two decades with some of America's most prestigious orchestras and at the White House. Despite critical acclaim, Buechner's career declined, after she came out as a transgender woman in 1998.

Nearly broke, Buechner moved to Canada, where she has taught at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, since 2003. She has performed throughout Canada, Asia and, occasionally, in the U.S.

"The conductors and presenters in Canada were much more open, because they hadn't really known me," Buechner told The Huffington Post. "They judged me on the music itself."

Buechner often shares her personal story. In 2012, she spoke before a standing committee on human rights in Ottawa. She also wrote an essay about her life that was published in the New York Times.

Polina Bespalko, director of the Xavier University Music Series, hopes Buechner's upcoming appearance will be the first of many concerts to raise awareness of LGBT equality.

"There is still a lot of prejudice toward people who are perceived as different, even in the music community," Bespalko said. "There should not be gender boundaries, especially in the performing arts. I have always been fascinated with the intelligence and the power of Sara Davis Buechner's playing. She is extremely inspiring."

The Xavier University Music Series will present Sara Buechner in the Gallagher Theater at Xavier University on Sunday, March 6, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets range in price from $3 to $28 and can be ordered by calling 513-745-3939 or by visiting

Information about Sara Buechner is available at

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