BY JAMIE REESE
SC Staff Writer
On March 8, Eliran Avni and accompanist Theresa Kim played “Op. 16” by Edvard Grieg at the Fine & Performing Arts Center. Avni played at ESU on January 27 of last year, at which time he played Rachmaninoff’s Piano “Concerto No. 3”
Avni is known for his creation of the shuffle concert, during which the audience chooses the music to be performed. He is also a teacher at the Lucy Moses School and the New York Chamber Music Program.
“His playing was expressive in such a clear, physical way,” said Dr. Peter Pruim, philosophy professor at ESU. During the performance, Dr. Pruim could be seen inching his way closer to the front.
“It’s a kind of playing that wouldn’t come through a second-hand medium,” said Pruim. “Only those who hear it live could receive it.”
Chamber music is designed for a live audience, and Avni has been playing for most of his life.
“I started reading music when I was 7,” said Avni. He went on to win first prize in the Rachmaninoff and Clairmont Competitions at 16, debuted with the Israel Philharmonic at 17 and attended the prestigious Julliard University.
Kim debuted at the age of 10 with the Seoul National University Orchestra. Later that year, she was admitted to the Pre-College Division at The Juilliard School. Since, she has acquired master’s degrees from both Julliard and the Teachers College at Columbia University.
After the concert, Avni answered the audience’s questions.
He then invited members of the audience to play. A girl named Cathy Li took the stage, and played a piece by Chopin. When Li finished, Avni gave her a lesson.
Both Li and Avni played without sheet music, and one of Li’s greatest hardships was memory.
“I have a very strong visual memory,” said Avni. If that fails, “then I remember the sound.”
According to Avni, “The most important thing is to have a story. There is always some emotional story. My job is to interpret that story.”
“Have you ever forgotten the plot of a movie?” asked Avni.
This was one of many free chamber productions made available to students and the public by the Music Department.
Keep your ears and eyes open for the next one, and remember, as Dr. Pruim would say, “Only those who hear it live could receive it.”
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