Video by Tina Huynh
Internationally renowned pianists Boaz Sharon and Pavel Nersessian performed a duo-piano recital in Nicholas Martin Hall on Monday.
Sharon and Nersessian both teach at Boston University and have performed around the world, recently coming back from a tour in China, according to Dr. Ilka Araujo, associate professor of piano and music history.
Araujo received her master’s and doctoral degrees under Sharon and invited them both to visit the school.
“They are literally international artists. We can see that not only do they really command the piano and play really well, but musically they are inspiring and really understand the music,” Araujo said. “They really understand all the choreography, and they were very much in sync with each other, which is really difficult when playing with other people.”
Sharon and Nersessian performed three different sets of music on two pianos.
“The composers that they played today were Bizet and Debussy from France in the 19th century and then Prokofiev from Russia in the 20th century,” Araujo said. “One is ‘Children’s Games,’ which is the Bizet piece and there are several movements, each one associated with a different game, and you can see the effect from the piano and all of that.”
The second piece was from Claude Debussy, and it was the second movement from this piece, called “Fetes” which was followed by the piece, “Cinderella” from Sergei Prokofiev.
“The third piece is actually 20th century so it has a lot of dissonant sounds, and it treats the piano almost like a percussive instrument rather than just a singing instrument,” Araujo said.
Freshman music major Doremi Hejny said she really enjoyed the first movement.
“I thought it was pretty cool,” Hejny said. “The ‘Cinderella’ piece was amazing as well.”
Sophomore music education major Kristen Carlini said the pianists were very expressive.
“I really loved the pieces at the very beginning, ‘Children’s Games,’” Carlini said. “You could definitely tell how the pieces were played and what games the children were playing and of course the clock striking midnight at the end of Cinderella was an awakener.”
Boaz and Nersessian returned to the campus Wednesday to hold master classes at Martin Hall for students from Wesleyan and the University of Texas at Arlington.
Nersessian said Wesleyan’s music students are ready for the next step.
“I know the teachers here are excellent. Of course, there are some things which they (students) must do, but as soon as you tell them (students) they are ready to do the next step,” Nersessian said. “It is a very pleasant thing.”
Senior music major Jimmy Angeles was one of the students to take the master class.
“It is amazing that we got these two guys on campus, especially Boaz, Dr. Araujo’s former professor,” Angeles said. “To be able to take a master class with a guy like that is quite an honor, not to mention Nersessian. It was quite a privilege, and a treat to get their knowledge on things.”
The 11th Annual Duo Piano Competition will be held Feb. 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 9 in Nicholas Martin Hall. For more information, go to txwes.edu.