lewiston – Pianist George Lopez, hailed as “one of the best solo and chamber musicians of his generation,” is returning to the Franco-American Heritage Center.

He will perform and make a presentation, “A Piano for Our Times,” free of charge, at 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 26, and give a recital to benefit the center at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 27.

Lopez appeared at the center during the 2004-2005 season as soloist with the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra. Earlier this year, he was instrumental in selecting the center’s new Steinway concert grand piano, on which he has began recording an album of classical pieces, including works by Bach and Rachmaninov.

He received critical acclaim for his interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

A lecturer on the arts in New England, Lopez lives in southern New Hampshire where he is a member of the faculty at the Manchester Community School of Music and Phillips Exeter Academy.

He has performed this season as soloist with the Granite State and Portsmouth symphony orchestras, as well as traveled to give master classes and recitals in Madison, Wisc., Seattle, and San Francisco.

His repertoire spans a broad range, from Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, to Ives, Gershwin, and Andrew Ford, a contemporary Australian composer for whom Lopez recently performed his works at Phillips Exeter.

The artist’s lecture and performance, “A Piano for Our Times,” reflects his reputation as an advocate for music education. The public is invited with special invitation to local music teachers, their pupils and parents to attend this event without charge.

For reservations for the benefit recital, “George Lopez in Concert,” call 689-2000. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 18. For more information, call 783-1585 or visit www.francoamericanheritage.org.