Saturday, November 5, 2016

Van Cliburn Recital

Allegro Studio was invited by Steinway Gallery of Charlotte to host a concerto recital the last weekend before the concerto competition--itself an honor to be invited. The students would be performing on Van Cliburn's famous piano: like Horowitz, Van Cliburn was one of the rare musicians who chose a piano and had it moved with him to all his performances during his career. What a special opportunity for us!



Usually, I stay home with the tiny tots while Chris escorts the children to recitals, but this time we attended as a family. One is not surprised that I was taking the three-year-old to the bathroom during the entirety of John's performance, and the baby became really loud during Mary's performance, so I listened to that while standing in the parking lot, pressing my ear to the crack in the door which I was holding ajar one inch. This is what we Music Mamas do!


For the Master Class (click here), I had video to offer of John, but not Mary, and this time I offer video of Mary, but not John.

Mary (7) performs the First Concerto in d minor by Noona


For the duration of the recital, Mary found a hidden spot so she could observe the mechanics of the piano up close.


While this was a concerto recital, siblings were welcome to participate as well, for the sake of parents with multiple children. Margaret (5) was supposed to perform but it was confirmed at her lesson a few days prior that her song was simply not ready, not stable enough to be performed. She seemed pretty calm about that, but said she wanted to try to get it ready. Her teacher even offered to stop by our house the day before the recital to check the song and approve it: Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty! Nonetheless, the song was not ready, and we all thought Margaret was accepting of that.

Well, we loaded into the car after the recital to depart and Margaret curled up into a ball weeping. Apparently, she had listened to the speech given about Van Cliburn, how this strapping young Texan slipped off in secret to the inaugural Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow during the Cold War, how he won the competition hands down against all the top pianists in the world, how he became a symbol of peace and of music being an international language, how he came home to a ticker tape parade in New York City. The piano gallery owner explained that the Van Cliburn piano hadn't been here in a dozen years and probably wouldn't come back through Charlotte for at least another decade. Margaret really listened and she realized what a special opportunity she had missed because she refused to practice her song.


She wept and wept about how she hadn't been able to play in the recital, so Daddy very sweetly offered to take her back into the studio where the various students were all taking opportunities to play spontaneously on the piano. Margaret's teacher accompanied her while she played "Distant Chimes" very sweetly . . . and we all wished she had just gotten the song ready in time for the recital.

We hope lessons have been learned!

Margaret with one of her music theory teachers

Our family is so grateful to belong to Allegro Studios, such a superior studio run by absolutely dedicated teachers! Thanks to Mr. Jones and Ms. Keiko!

John and Mary with teachers Keiko Aloe and Randy Jones

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