Last night, I had the opportunity to hear a performance by renowned pianist Piotr Anderszewski with three of my students.
As a musician (pianist) who is usually hard at work on stage, I sometimes forget what it feels like to be in the audience... much less what it's like to experience a profound and total feeling of awe. It brought to mind an article I recently read on the health-benefits of awe in our lives (http://www.collective-evolution.com/2017/01/30/feeling-awe-may-be-the-secret-to-health-happiness/).
Although I've heard great things about Anderszewski's playing, I wasn't at all prepared for what I was going to hear. I expected nice piano music. Impressive playing. Solid memorization. A large range of dynamics.
What he created was actually an expertly crafted novel, from the first note to the last. We hung on to every "word" as it was told to us, waiting for more, and spinning wilding through the adventures he shared with us (and, as I knew some of the repertoire quite well, this effect especially impressed me!). We transcended time and space. His beautiful choreography paired with an infinite color-wheel of sound, that seemed to defy the possibilities of even the best of pianos.
I asked them my students at intermission, "Do you... Can you... feel what he is doing with the music?" They did. We talked about everything from memorization to practicing to style, program order, and life on the road. What a gift to be able to open the door to curiosity and possibility through this performance!
The Bach did indeed prove his brilliant ability to take us on a tour of an enchanted castle, visiting rooms of ornate decor full of beautifully-dressed dancing to live music (a new ensemble for each). Anderszewski created a new acoustic for each room, and took on the role of choreographer and conductor.
The performance was followed by Q&A, giving us a chance to learn more about the performer as a person. Here are some of his highlights:
Elizabeth Borowsky is a pianist, teacher, and composer. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano (Music Teachers National Association).