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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Award winning pianists to perform at Rudder Theater

Photo courtesy of Elena Reece

The BCS Friends of Chamber Music will host two Van Cliburn piano competition winners at Rudder Theater on Sunday, Sept. 10 to start off this year’s concert season. Van Cliburn silver medalist Anna Geniushene and bronze medalist Dmytro Choni will be performing pieces by Yohan Strauss, Frederick Chopin and Pyotr Tchaikovsky, ending the performance with a piano duet from Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk.

Friends of Chamber Music’s Artistic Director Elena Reece said she asked Choni and Geniushene to perform a duet to close out the concert and was thrilled when they agreed.

“When I say that this is a unique feature of that particular concert, it is simply because these artists are solo pianists who … develop their own individual solo careers,” said Reece. “They very rarely, if ever at all, play together.”

The pianists found one day in their schedule in which they could both perform together at Rudder Theater, starting the Friends of Chamber Music’s season earlier than they have ever started, Reece said.

The pianists will be playing side by side on the same piano, said President of Friends of Chamber Music Andreas Kronenburg.

“They don’t have a chance to practice very often together, so they’re doing us a big favor to play this together,” Kronenburg said.

Kronenburg said he hopes students who have never been to a live classical concert will attend.

“I think anybody, even if you’ve never listened to this kind of music before, you’ll just be amazed at the intensity, the different styles of play,” Kronenburg said. “They’re not just gonna be playing notes. They’re going to have expression, it’s just wonderful.”

The piano performance will also be accompanied by a piece of art by local artist Dick Davison on the main stage in Rudder Theater.

“We have a local artist who has provided a new painting,” Kronenburg said. “It’s a large one, it’s nine feet by nine feet, and it’s gonna be on stage with the pianists, so that as people listen, they can have the pleasure of seeing the art.”

At every concert, Friends of Chamber Music holds pre-concert opening performances by local groups, typically with high school orchestras that have competed to open for the musicians.

“We are inviting the A&M High School Consolidated Varsity Orchestra, and it will be a large group of kids, all string instruments,” Reece said. “The count right now is about 60 students and their orchestra director and they will be playing a short performance for the incoming audience.”

The A&M High School consolidated orchestra and students from A&M’s School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts will be offered free tickets to the Sept. 10 performance.

Friends of Chamber Music strives to “enhance the cultural life of the community” and bring culturally diverse music performed by world-class musicians to the Brazos Valley, according to their website.

“I don’t want classical music to mean snob music to everybody,” Kronenburg said. “I would rather people go and listen to it and experience it for what it is and if it’s done well, it’s just fantastic music.”

With different genres of music at each performance such as jazz, a cappella and classical, the Friends of Chamber Music showcases a diverse range of concerts, said Kronenburg.

“I think what you’ll find is the amount of energy and the expression in the music of these world-class people is just more than you could imagine,” Kronenburg said.

The Friends of Chamber Music’s concert series this year includes performances by Grammy award winning jazz musicians, a harpist and flutist, a quartet, a solar eclipse project with the Brazos Valley Astronomy Club and Grammy award winning a cappella singers.

The Friends of Chamber Music’s series this year will consist of three free concerts and three concerts with student prices ranging from $5 to $10, said Kronenburg.

“We want accessible, fine music, played by astounding world-class musicians,” Kronenburg said.

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Nadia Abusaid
Nadia Abusaid, Life & Arts Writer
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