The Cultures of Sound Network (CSN) was announced in March, 2018, as a new joint venture between four major cultural organizations: the U of A Sound Studies Initiative, the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media, and Place at Memorial University of Newfoundland, the Canadian Museum of History, and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

But what exactly is it? Curious Arts sat down with Mary Ingraham, Director of the Sound Studies Initiative, to learn more.

“The CSN is one of several research projects within the Sound Studies Initiative,” she explains. “It’s a very unique one because it has multiple institutional partners outside the university.”

One such partner is York University who is collaborating with the CSN on a project called “Connecting Culture and Childhood.” Through the Aboriginal Multimedia Society of Alberta to develop materials that can be shared back with the community — largely Cree, Territory 6 — that would also be part of cultures with sound.

In May the Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology invited two immensely talented musicians, Mr. Praveen D. Rao and Ms. Varijashree Venugopal, to teach a workshop here at the university. Eager to learn from these influential visiting artists, several students and faculty members gathered on May 31st to soak up as much information as possible.

 

Photo Credit: Shelby Carleton

 

Mr. Rao is currently one of the most sought after music directors and composers in India. He has composed for a variety of projects from movie scores to ballets. Along with being a fantastic composer, he has also acted in numerous TV shows and movies in India.

Ms. Venugopal has been considered an amazing musician since she was incredibly young. By the age of four she was able to identify around 200 ragas, which is very rare. Since then she has become a professional vocalist and flautist. She is also currently regarded as the face of Indian jazz music.

 

Photo Credit: Shelby Carleton

 

These two musicians joined forces to give our students and faculty members a workshop on composition and arrangement in Indian music. What made learning form this duo so unique was their familiarity with both Southern and Northern styles of classical Indian music.

They began their workshop with a wonderful performance of Jagadoddharana in Raag Kapi. Mr. Rao played the tabla and Ms. Venugopal alternated between the flute and vocals. They were also joined by U of A Ethnomusicology graduate student, Deepak Paramashivan.

In case you missed it, here’s a short video of their performance so you can see for yourself just how amazing these musicians sounded together.

 

 

Throughout the workshop, both Mr. Rao and Ms. Venugopal encouraged participation from the audience. Everyone worked together to create and combine rhythm and melody. Both guests welcomed questions about anything, from the basics of Indian music to how Mr. Rao approaches a new composition.

This workshop also focused on the emotional impact of music and how it can be used to your advantage when composing. To demonstrate the connection between music and emotion, Mr. Rao and Ms. Venugopal performed the same melodies in different scales and openly discussed the differences.
Overall it was an awesome afternoon of engaging musical exercises and lots of learning!

Each year the Department of Music’s Concerto Competition attracts students with the amazing opportunity to perform with either the University Symphony Orchestra or the Symphonic Wind Ensemble.

The winners from the 2017/2018 Concerto Competition were pianist, Theodore Chow, and saxophonist, Holly deCaigny. Theodore has recently started a Master’s Degree in photonics, while Holly is completing a Doctorate in saxophone performance.

Naturally we had a few questions for these incredibly talented musicians. For starters, how did they prepare for their winning auditions? What strategies do they have for overcoming those pre-concert jitters? Both Holly and Theodore were kind enough to share their experiences and even give some advice for those of you planning to audition for the Concerto Competition next year.

 

Theodore Chow

 

Theodore auditioned for the Concerto Competition last fall because it seemed like fun and would give him an excuse to him to practice the piano more frequently.

Having played the piano for the last 19 years, Theodore is no stranger to experiencing pre-concert nerves. However, he has come to realize his stress levels prior to a big performance are directly related to the amount of pressure he places on himself.

To combat this pressure, Theodore likes to focus on the aspects of auditioning he really enjoys. For example, playing the piano brings him a lot of happiness and competitions motivate him to practice more often. He also finds having a goal to work towards is incredibly rewarding.

 

Photo Credit: Nicholas Yee

 

Theodore’s advice for anyone competing in next year’s Concerto Competition is to start preparing as soon as possible and leave nothing to the last minute. Theodore finds preparing at a gradual pace and being able to take breaks really does result in a better audition. He also recommends maintaining a positive attitude while you prepare. Keep reminding yourself you’re auditioning because you love music and the experience will be a lot of fun.

Theodore performed with the USO back in February and we are happy to report it was an absolute success!

 

Holly deCaigny

 

Holly was particularly drawn to this competition because having the opportunity to perform solo while accompanied by a large ensemble is rare for a student.

Even though Holly has extensive experience performing, she still gets nervous before a big concert or audition. Regardless, she never lets the stress prevent her from giving an excellent performance. Instead, she has developed strategies for overcoming the pre-performance jitters. She has found it helps to be aware of your nerves and pay attention to what makes them better or worse so you can develop healthy techniques for relaxing. For example, Holly finds stretching right before a performance really helps release any tension she might be feeling.

 

 

When preparing for an audition, Holly believes the first and most important step is carefully considering which piece you’d like to perform. You want to choose a piece that showcases your talent but is also interesting for an audience. The piece she chose for this competition was Ebert’s Concertino da Camera because the first and third movements are flashy and exciting while the second movement is beautiful and slow, showcasing her talent in two distinctly different ways.

Holly’s performance with SWE will be in November 2018 and is one concert you definitely won’t want to miss!

 

Good luck to everyone auditioning for the 2018/2019 Concerto Competition! We hope the advice from Holly and Theodore help you prepare for your audition with minimal stress and maximum fun!

 

From Exit the King dramaturgical Notes on Existentialism by Tonya Rae Chrystian

What gives your life meaning?

Existentialism, the underlying philosophy of the Theatre of the Absurd, is the belief that your existence precedes your essence, proclaiming that your life has no inherent value other than the one you ascribe it. You are born, that is to say you exist, and then you, and you alone, must impute that existence with meaning.

There are infinite potential meanings to choose from, and no knowledge or hierarchies as to which are best; this leaves you with a horrifying amount of freedom with which you must cope in the search for answers in an answerless world. If there is a God, it did not create you, the earth, or the cosmos with any particular purpose in mind.

Scared yet? Stay with me.

Exit the King

Pictured: Michael Anderson, Meegan Sweet, Ian Leung, Sparky Johnson (Photo by Ed Ellis)

If I told you that an existential crisis is not a crisis of despair, would you be surprised?

An existential crisis has 5 components:

1. Things you’ve taken to be “common sense” about your life become uncannily relative and random. Why do I have this job and not some other? Why do I live here and not somewhere else? Why did I marry this person and not that person? Etc. etc. You become suddenly aware that there are far more options than you previously allowed yourself to believe.

2. Anxiety sets in. You have deluded yourself into thinking you had to be a certain way for the sake of social norms, and you are frightened that you have chosen wrongly. You realize your ultimate responsibility is to yourself and not the social world.

3. You gain a heightened awareness of death and an increased focus on the slippage of time.

4. Confronted with all the choices that you have to make, you realize the human condition is to be denied access to the knowledge you need to make any of these choices with ultimate wisdom. This is where we often resort to the authority of society, of morality, of religion, or of powerful leaders, but all authorities are fake. No one has any more information than we do. Everything is inherently meaningless until we decide it isn’t.

5. Overwhelmed with the terror of so much freedom, existentialism encourages us to remember that in light of such odds we cannot continue to believe in the notion of perfection; the agony of choice is merely the experience of being alive. We are not alone in our anxiety as all human beings face the same individual struggle to create meaning.

Exit the King

Pictured: Ian Leung (Photo by Ed Ellis)

The most hopeful thing existentialism gives us is the realization that we are the ones who decide for ourselves what matters, not social standards, not oppressive regimes or ideological paradigms, and certainly not the narrative of history. We are not fixed beings, but capable of great, sweeping change should we so desire.

In case you missed it, read more about the playwright Eugène Ionesco in Inside Exit the King Part 1: Enter the Playwright.

EXIT THE KING
May 17-26, 2018
Timms Centre for the Arts
Tickets & Information

Exit the King Director, Kevin Sutley, provides the following insight into the themes of  mortality and our lives in the face of death, as found in Ionesco’s classic masterpiece, Exit the King (May 17-26, 2018, Timms Centre for the Arts).

Theatre is ephemeral.

As theatre artists we must constantly let go. We intensely focus on our work for a period of time and then we are done. Our work disappears, our creations vanish and our legacy is a nothing more than memory. Because of this, theatre has long been a metaphor for our lives as individuals.

Working on a play about death and dying, I begin to see that death is all around me. As we age, we see more and more of it, but rarely do we contemplate death itself. Rather, we reflect on personal loss or ponder some form of afterlife or some ‘energy-never-dies’ scenario. We avoid the profound permanence that the word death implies.

As I age, as my parents age, as we all age, I have only an abstract awareness that I am in an inexorable march toward one predetermined ending place. When I think of death my mind goes far away, to Syria or even Humboldt or Toronto. But death is here, in my family, in my workplace. Even our little company of artists and students were touched by death last week as a young colleague lost his mother.

Death is everywhere. Ionesco’s genius is demonstrated by how he points to our ridiculous attempts to avoid facing the inevitable confrontation with the inevitable. Like kings of our own little countries, we believe in our own importance and envision our legacies. We invent purpose and cling to our work. We invest in love and romantic relationships. Or like clowns in a Samuel Beckett play, we simply pass the time pretending the end is never coming, even as it approaches like a tsunami.

From this perspective, life truly is absurd, funny and sad. Our play does not offer any answers about the big questions of meaning, but instead points a finger and invites us to laugh at our own humanity, our human nature… our lives in the face of death. As to the question of meaning, there was an earlier playwright, perhaps neither an absurdist nor an existentialist, who wrote,

“It is a tale told by an idiot,
Full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

We present this work as we think about our friend Mukonzi and his family.

~Kevin Sutley

Kevin Sutley is a professor of Drama at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from the University of Alberta.  As a professional actor and director, he has worked for such companies as Theatre Network, Northern Light Theatre and Azimuth Theatre. He has directed several productions including the Sterling Award winning “Dungeon Master’s Handbook” for Azimuth Theatre. For his own company, Kill Your Television Theatre, Professor Sutley directed the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award winning productions of “Suburbia”, “Shakespeare’s R&J” and “The Glass Menagerie”.  He has received Sterling Award nominations as ‘Outstanding Director’ for his work on “Shakespeare’s R&J”, “Mules” and “Monster”. Professor Sutley has also taught acting and directing for Theatre Alberta, the Citadel Theatre and the University of Alberta main campus.

EXIT THE KING
by Eugène Ionesco
Translation by Neil Armfield and Geoffrey Rush
May 17-26, 2018
Timms Centre for the Arts
TICKETS & PROGRAM INFO

From Exit the King dramaturgical notes by Tonya Rae Chrystian

Written over a period of 20 days in 1962 between bouts of liver illness, Ionesco refers to Exit the King “as an attempt at an apprenticeship at dying,” as a way to creatively transpose his lingering fear of mortality.

Sir Alec Guinness as King Berenger I and Googie Withers as Queen Margherite (Exit the King, Royal Court Theatre, 1963)

Sir Alec Guinness as King Berenger I and Googie Withers as Queen Margherite (Exit the King, Royal Court Theatre, 1963)

The play first debuted in English in 1963 starring Alec Guinness in the title role at the Lyceum Theatre, but perhaps the most important English-language production is that which starred Geoffrey Rush as the burlesque, fool-hardy yet frightening, Berenger I. This 2009 Broadway production was a rave success, becoming a New York Times’ Critic’s Choice as theatre reviewer Ben Brantley writes “Mr. Rush is not only more entertaining than the usual never-say-die bogeyman but also more frightening. That’s not because you’re worried that the 400-year-old Berenger might come after you in your dreams, Freddy Krueger style; it’s because you know that the seedy, power-addled egomaniac onstage – who’s working overtime to dodge his own mortality – is, quite simply, you,” for clever indeed is the man who knows exactly what his life has meant.

Exit the King centres around Berenger I, a bouffon king who has lost all power over his crumbling kingdom; he cannot command his plucky maid any more than he can control the heavens. The march of destiny has come to claim his life but it’s all very to-do and a little unfair – after all, why are we born if it isn’t meant to be forever?

Over the course of the play, Berenger attempts the many tactics we humans turn to when faced with our own demise, including denial, anger, and bargaining, but also reverting to boyhood, commanding a paralyzed army, blaming your incompetent ministers, shouting at a deaf God, giving execution orders, and hiding under your throne.

All to no avail.

At the edge of death there is no time, space, meaning, or power. You must cross the boundary, you must succumb to the void, and you must do it alone. You are going to die and no revolution on earth, or in the cosmos, can save you.

But as bleak as all of this may sound, Ionesco graciously gives us cause to laugh at our shared human foibles and follies throughout.

The great French mime and theatre pedagogue, Jacques Lecoq, under whom our translator Geoffrey Rush studied and trained, said that to enter the Absurd is to call upon contradictory logic. Imagine you stop and ask for directions and are told your path lies to the right. You then thank the person kindly before immediately departing to the left. This is in essence the incongruity of Absurdism, the genre to which Exit the King belongs.

As per Martin Esslin, the scholar who first identified Theatre of the Absurd as a coherent movement, albeit one that was not self-proclaimed by its participants, “Theatre of the Absurd strives to express its sense of the senselessness of the human condition and the inadequacy of the rational approach by the open abandonment of rational devices and discursive thought.”

Esslin continues with his characterization of Absurdist plays by arguing that “if a good play must have a cleverly constructed story, these have no story or plot to speak of; if a good play is judged by subtlety of characterization and motivation, these are often without recognizable characters and present the audience with almost mechanical puppets; if a good play has to have a fully explained theme, which is neatly exposed and finally solved, these often have neither a beginning nor end; if a good play is to hold the mirror up to nature and portray the manners and mannerisms of the age in finely observed sketches, these seem often to be reflections of dreams and nightmares; if a good play relies on witty repartee and pointed dialogue, these often consist of incoherent babblings.”

For our playwright Ionesco, he understood the Absurd to be “that which is devoid of purpose […] Cut off from his religious, metaphysical, and transcendental roots, man is lost; all his actions become senseless, absurd, useless.”

Thus, we enter into the world of Exit the King and the mindscape of King Berenger I, where Ionesco for the first time in his lengthy and prolific career approaches this genre with near classical, formal control.

In case you missed it, read more about the playwright Eugène Ionesco in Inside Exit the King Part 1: Enter the Playwright.

EXIT THE KING
May 17-26, 2018
Timms Centre for the Arts
Tickets & Information

From Exit the King dramaturgical notes by Tonya Rae Chrystian

The play you are about to witness asks you to confront the inevitability of natural death, but not to worry, you will have ample warning and time to prepare.

The play is also very funny, but that is to be expected.

To begin, the dramaturgies of Franco-Romanian playwright, Eugène Ionesco, are some of the most influential, immersing themselves in the semi-solid realms of surrealism, absurdism, and existentialism. For Ionesco, the boundless mystère of the cosmos can induce an incapacitating amount of anxiety as we search for answers in an answerless universe.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any laughs to be had in our wondering. As Nancy Lane construes, “Ionesco’s life, like his work, can best be understood as the product of conflicts, contradictions, and dichotomies,” haunted by a life-long apprehension at the meaninglessness that underlies human existence and language. Yet despite this angst, the soulful, kindly, and deeply melancholic Ionesco is oft described as a natural clown by those who know him best.

Young Ionesco

Born in 1909 in Slatina, Romania, to a French mother and an abusively-inclined Romanian father, little Eugène very soon became a child of divorce. Living in France with his single mother to whom he was very attached, the young Ionesco was forced to leave his mother’s care and return to Romania because his father won him in a custody battle.

Shortly after his arrival, Ionesco describes a memory of his fascist father beating an elderly Jewish woman, thus beginning his merciless denouncement of ideological thugs including Nazis, communists, and radical liberal journalists, as can be detected throughout his plays and critical essays. Furthermore, this experience of exile gave Ionesco a heightened awareness of death that ofttimes made him feel impotent, isolated, and depressed, interrupted by brief, semi-mystical experiences of brightness and celestial light.

Despite this fear of death and the slippage of time, Ionesco lived to a great age. At 82 years old, suffering from extreme joint pain, Ionesco passed away in Paris on March 28, 1994, survived by his wife Rodica Burileanu, and his daughter Marie-France; the epigraph on his tombstone reads “pray to the I-don’t-know-who: Jesus Christ, I hope.”

Eugène Ionesco

Although he lived in Paris for most of his life, claimed France as his homeland, and wrote predominantly in French, Ionesco is considered one of Romania’s greatest artists. Having created such masterworks as The Bald Soprano (1948), The Chairs (1951), The Killer (1957), Rhinoceros (1958), and, of course, Exit the King (1962), Eugène Ionesco was elected to the French Academy on January 22, 1970.

However, unlike his absurdist contemporary, the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, Ionesco would never receive a Nobel prize for literature – a deep oversight in our shared dramaturgical heritage.

Stay tuned for Inside Exit the King Part 2: Creating the King

Exit the King

EXIT THE KING
May 17-26, 2018
Timms Centre for the Arts
Tickets & Information

 

At our inaugural piano concert on May 13th, guest pianist Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy will be performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue on the new Steinway piano.

Thanks to the help from U of A musicology professor, Christina Gier, we were able to learn more about George Gershwin’s life as he went from a song plugger on Tin Pan Alley, to one of the biggest names in composition.

Here are some fun facts about Gershwin you may not know:

 

1) George Gershwin grew up on the Lower East Side of New York which, which was at the time, an incredibly poor neighborhood. He was also very popular among the street gangs. Therefore, had he not discovered the piano, it is likely his life would have followed a very different path. In fact, growing up, George was “pegged by his parents as the one most likely to end up in perpetual trouble.”

 

2) He fell in love with his best friend’s wife, Katherine (Kay) Warburg. The two of them carried on a continuous affair, until her eventual divorce from Jimmy Warburg in 1934.

 

3) Gershwin’s proposal to collaborate was rejected by two different influential musicians; Maurice Ravel and Nadia Boulanger. Although Gershwin believed working with Ravel would help further his career, Ravel rejected his offer, arguing “it was better to be a first-rate Gershwin than a second-rate Ravel.” Instead he suggested Gershwin contact Parisian piano and composition instructor, Nadia Boulanger. She also refused to work with him after hearing him play, claiming she had nothing to teach him. There is still some speculation around what exactly she meant.

 

4) George Gershwin’s brother Ira wrote the lyrics for several of his compositions, including “Of Thee I Sing,” for which Ira won a Pulitzer Prize. At the time there was no Pulitzer Prize for music, so George received no recognition for his contribution. It was reported Ira and George got into a huge argument regarding this award. Ira insisted he would not accept unless George received an award as well, while George demanded he accept it anyway. In the end, Ira did accept the Pulitzer Prize, but he hung it in his bathroom, “slightly askew.”

 

5) Gershwin died on July 11th, 1937 at the age of 39 from an inoperable malignant glioblastoma. He suffered from symptoms for many years – but doctors were unable to find the cause and blamed his symptoms on hysteria. The illness began to significantly affect his ability to perform in early 1937 when he both fell of the stage and made mistakes while performing his own compositions.

 

We hope to see you at the 88 Keys Concert on May 13th at 3 PM in Convocation Hall. Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy’s performance of Rhapsody in Blue will definitely be an amazing experience.

Visit our showpage if you would like to purchase your tickets in advance to make sure you don’t miss out!

 

Source

Rimler, Walter. George Gershwin : An Intimate Portrait. University of Illinois Press, 2009. Music in American Life. EBSCOhost,
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What do world renowned pianist, Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy, and the U of A have in common? They are both excited about our new Steinway Model D!

Last October, when Dr. Street and Dr. Després traveled to Hamburg, Germany to purchase a new piano for the Department of Music, they were also joined by Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy.

Both Dr. Després and Mr. Schmitt-Leonardy tested each Model D in the Steinway and Sons’ showroom until they discovered the perfect piano for Convocation Hall.

Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy was the featured musician at the U of A’s 2014/2015 Kilburn Memorial Concert and will be returning on May 13th to perform at our inaugural piano concert.

Since Mr. Schmitt-Leonardy helped choose our new piano, we thought we’d get his opinion on what qualities a great piano needs to have.

In your opinion, what made our new Steinway Model D stand out from the other nine you and Dr. Després had to choose from?

 

“Both Dr. Després and I immediately fell in love with the very personal character of this piano. In my opinion it offered the largest scale of colours. The tone of this piano was the most flexible compared to all the others. This piano has a lot of power but in a fraction of a second it can also deliver the most poetic or fragile sound.”

 

Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy testing one of the Steinway Model D’s at the Steinway and Sons factory in Hamburg Germany

What qualities does a piano need to be considered a great piano?

 

“First of all, it needs to fit the hall. I know Convocation Hall from my last recital there and some of the other Steinway D’s we tried were impressive, but would have been too loud and brilliant for the space. They were bombshells but we chose the real treasure with character and beauty. There are many piano brands that have a wonderful but stereotypical sound, which I’m not fond of. A great piano must be capable of reacting to a pianists touch and creating different styles of sound.”

 

When did you decide to pursue a career in music?

 

“I never really thought about it. Music was always a part of my life so I never planned a career. It might have been better if I practiced more at a young age. However, I’ve been really lucky with how well everything has worked out.”

 

What do you enjoy most about being a professional musician?

 

“Definitely the freedom and independency! I can always decide where I’m going to work and what I’m going to do. I can play a recital, give a masterclass and work with young talents, or create something that never existed before!”

 

Do you have any advice students wanting to pursue a career as a musician?

 

“They should find out which field they are best at as well as work together with other musicians. It’s impossible to achieve something if your only focus is on yourself. Organize concerts for your colleagues and perform with your peers. When you put in the effort to work with others, more often than not, they will do the same for you. Lastly, don’t try to become famous, try to become better every day.”

 

 

Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy’s performance on May 13th will be accompanied by a small orchestra and conducted by Delta David Gier. He will be playing Gershwin’s timeless piece, Rhapsody in Blue. Other musicians being featured at Celebrating 88 Keys include Dr. Jacques Després (piano), Dr. Patricia Tao (piano), Robert Uchida (violin) and Raphael Hoekman (cello).

We hope you can join us on May 13th at 3 PM in Convocation Hall for this celebratory event!

More information about Celebrating 88 Keys can be found on the showpage. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door the day of the concert (cash only).

We have exciting news! After a successful fundraising campaign, the Department of Music’s brand new Steinway piano has arrived.

In 2016, Gail Korpan and Joanne Robarts made a donation to the Department of Music in support of their family’s love of music, and to honour both their parents, John and Marie Smulski. After careful consideration, the Department decided it would be beneficial to purchase a new concert grand piano for Convocation Hall. Introducing a new piano to Con Hall will give students and faculty members access to the highest quality instruments. Guest artists would also shine on a fantastic piano. Therefore, they used this wonderful donation to initiate a larger fundraising program called 88 Keys.

The response to this fundraising initiative was overwhelming and in less than a year the money for a new grand piano was raised.

Last October the Department of Music Chair, Dr. William Street and U of A piano professor, Dr. Jacques Després, traveled to the Steinway and Sons factory in Hamburg, Germany.

 

 

Steinway and Sons has two factories, one in New York and one in Hamburg. While the pianos in both locations are made in exactly the same way, musicians often feel there’s a difference in musical quality between New York and Hamburg Steinways. Although several musicians prefer the experience of performing on a New York Steinway, our piano faculty prefer Hamburg Steinways. We. Therefore, decided to purchase our piano from the factory in Germany.

 

 

Upon arriving at the Steinway and Sons factory in Hamburg, the Department had already decided they would be purchasing a Steinway Model D; a full sized concert grand piano. In the factory showroom, nine Steinway Model D’s were available for our department representatives to choose.

 

 

Dr. Jacques Després and pianist Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy took turns playing each Model D in the showroom and carefully considered the musical quality of each one. For Dr. Després, being in a room full of so many amazing pianos felt like being “somebody addicted to sugar working in a chocolate factory.” We asked Dr. Després what qualities he was looking for in our new piano. His response was:

“A great instrument will sound different when played by different people. If a piano sounds the same for all performers, it means it is very limited in character and potential for each performer. With a good piano, the instrument will give you what you ask of it but with a great piano the potential is truly amazing. This new piano can teach us a lot if we get to know it and has the ability to create a personal experience for performers, as well as for the audience.”

 

 

Our Steinway Model D was loaded onto a plane shortly after its purchase and arrived at Convocation Hall in less than a month!

 

 

Weighing nearly 1000 lbs, it took several people to move this massive instrument onto the Con Hall stage.

 

 

On May 13th, the Department of Music will be hosting an inaugural piano concert to celebrate the arrival of this fantastic new instrument. World renowned pianist Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy, who helped choose our new piano, will be performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue at this celebratory concert. Other featured musicians include faculty members, Dr. Jacques Després (piano), Dr. Patricia Tao (piano), Raphael Hoekman (cello), and Robert Uchida (violin).

More information about Celebrating 88 Keys can be found on the concert’s showpage. Please join us for an afternoon of celebration and fantastic music!