By Andrea Jimenez
On Wednesday evening, Cal Poly Pomona’s Music Department presented the Shpachenko and Friends Chamber Music Festival in the Recital Hall.
The concert featured the world premiere of Adam Schoenberg’s “Bounce.” The piece was performed by CPP Music Professor Nadia Shpachenko on the piano and percussion and Kevin Fitz-Gerald on the piano.
“The piece comes from my latest inspiration-my 12-week-old son named Luca,” said Schoenberg, when introducing his piece to the audience.
The Aspen Music Festival in Los Angeles gave him the opportunity to create a philharmonic orchestral piece.
The piece was originally a ballet. However, the same week that the opportunity arose, Schoenberg and his wife discovered they were going to be parents.
“Within that moment I immediately knew that this piece was going to be inspired by and dedicated to our future child,” said Schoenberg.
Schoenberg was very pleased with the dual piano performance of “Bounce” by Shpachenko and Fitz-Gerald.
“It’s always a wonderful gift to have a world premiere, so it’s exciting,” said Schoenberg. “It’s an incredible opportunity and experience.”
The first half of the concert featured Fitz-Gerald, professor of Keyboard Studies and Keyboard Collaborative Arts at the USC Thornton School of Music and Shpachenko on the pianos. The first piece they performed was from Darius Milhaud “Scaramouche, Suite for Two Pianos, Op. 165b.”
Many students enjoyed the performances especially that of Shpachenko and Fitz-Gerald.
“I’m enjoying the dueling pianos,” said Bradford Isaaq Tidwell, a fourth-year music performance student.
The concert also featured accomplished violinist Martin Chalifour. He performed pieces from Robert Schumann, Karol Szymanowski and Bartok, Bela.
The concert highlighted the new CPP All-Steinway School Initiative that will substantially raise the Music Department’s profile
To achieve All-Steinway School status, CPP will have to raise $1.5 million to acquire 29 Steinway pianos and $1 million to establish an endowment for the costly pianos’ future care and maintenance.
“It makes a big difference being able to really bring out all the colors you can bring out in the piano,” said Shpachenko. “Having a good instrument is actually a really big part of being able to learn well.”
Shpachenko said that Steinway is the gold standard of instruments and providing these pianos will allow the students to go to the next level musically.
Donors who make gifts of $100 or more will be recognized as Founding All-Steinway School Donors. Recognition and benefits exist for corresponding gift levels and include acknowledgment in the music department’s annual newsletter, music society website and concert programs, among other recognition opportunities.
“Our wonderful Chair Iris Levine came up with this idea,” said Shpachenko.
The initiative was introduced by Levine after speaking to Steinway and felt this was a beneficial opportunity for the campus.
Students felt the concert was educational especially those who were affiliated with the Music Department.
“I think it’s really cool to see teachers actually show their talent and their skill because you feel really connected to them,” said Michael Webb, seventh-year year business law student, who is also enrolled in Shpachenko’s piano seminar class. “I also think it’s important for people to see there’s real talent here and they come to our campus.”
Tidwell said he attended the concert for the “musical consumption.”
“My favorite part was Adam Schoenberg’s composition,” said Tidwell. “It brings light [for] new composers work and keeps the incorporation of modern music,” said Tidwell. “It’s enlightening to hear these complex works.”
The festival concluded with a master class featuring Fitz-Gerald. The class was held Thursday in the Recital Hall. The class allowed students to work one-on-one with Fitz-Gerald and Shpachenko.
Shpachenko will continue to host feature festivals on campus.
“I think it’s very important for students to be exposed to these world-class artists,” said Shpachenko. “I bring people who play at Disney World who play all over the world and I bring them here and [students] can go to a concert here and be inspired.”
Laura Mishima/The Poly Post
Music recital showcases staff
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