Pianist Eunbi Kim inspires students with music workshop

By Brian Sease

Piano music filled the Music Recital Hall as pianist Eunbi Kim visited the music department.

Kim conducted a free master class in the CPP Music Recital Hall on Nov. 9 from 1:30 p.m to 4 p.m.

Later that evening, she performed her own pieces from her debut album, ‘A House of Many Rooms:’ New Concert Music by Fred Hersch.

“It was wonderful, the students really enjoyed working with her and learning from her,” Grammy nominated Professor of Music Nadia Shpachenko-Gottesman said.

A master class is when a guest artist works one-on-one with students, usually in front of an audience giving them feedback on their work.

The master class presented seven pieces performed by students, and feedback by Kim after each set.

One piece performed in the master class, was ‘Igor to Please,’ which was played on two grand pianos, two toy pianos and electronics by Shpachenko-Gottesman, Michael Jung, Michael Tran, Long Yu, Sophia Lin and Melinda Hovsepian.

Kim, a New York City based virtuosic pianist has been invited as a speaker at multiple colleges and universities and national art organizations such as The Manhattan School of Music and Asian-American Arts Alliance.

This was her first time conducting a master class.

“Cal Poly Pomona has been amazing. I feel like the students have been so warm, they’re so open, open to new ideas, new ways of thinking,” Kim said. “I really enjoyed my time here, you know, I just loved my experience here, I hope to come back and I’m just very thankful.”

At 8 p.m., Kim performed her own pieces at the recital hall.

Two of the pieces were written for Kim by composers; Haitian-American composer Daniel Bernard Roumain; and American Jazz Pianist Fred Hersch, who has worked with artists Yo Yo Ma and Renee Fleming.

The piece by Roumain titled ‘It Feels Like a Mountain Chasing Me,’ included Kim’s live piano performance accompanied by prerecorded samples of her speaking about her family.

“I thought her piece with the voicing was very personal, and that really impacted me in a way that I was able to see her emotions through the piece,” third-year general theater and music performance student Bethlehem Martinez said.

Kim’s performance by Hersch, ‘Prelude No. 1,’ was the first time it had ever been performed in public.

Kim also performed ‘Satie Blues’ composed by Toby Twinning, which Kim played simultaneously on a grand piano and a toy piano.

“I thought the toy piano piece was really interesting,” third-year music performance student Alissa Vasquez said. “I like how it sounded, but I also liked how she finally got to choose something that she wanted to play after years of having to play specific genres.”

Kim also did a presentation for the Careers in Music class on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

“She talks about being nervous on stage and conquering that, and she actually gave a Ted Talk recently about that topic, so I think every student can relate to something like that too,” Shpachenko-Gottesman said.

The master class presented seven pieces performed by students, and feedback from Eunbi Kim

Brian Sease / The Poly Post

The master class presented seven pieces performed by students, and feedback from Eunbi Kim

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