Gila Goldstein is in her second year teaching piano at the Columbus State University Schwob School of Music. And she’s beginning to make her mark in that talent-heavy school.
She has coordinated a big program for 2010.
The three-part program, “Chopin & Schumann 200th Anniversary Series,” begins tonight. On the program are Schumann’s “Fantasy Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Opus 73” “Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano, in A-Minor” and “String Quartet, Opus 41, No. 1, in A-Minor” and Chopin’s “Ballade No. 1 in G-Minor, Opus 23, for piano solo” at 7:30 p.m. Performing tonight are her CSU Schwob School colleagues, clarinet professor Lisa Oberlander and violin professor Sergiu Schwartz, along with David Ter-Oganisyn, Heather Thomas, Emily Void, Sara Beth Shealy and Harrison Cook, students from the Schwob School’s viola, violin and cello studios.
Part II is Feb. 22 and the final, Part III, is April 20.
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Gila said she started working on this program last year. The reason was for the Schwob School to take part in the 200th anniversary of the births of two Romantic composers — Frederic Chopin and Robert Schumann — who are considered to be giants in that genre.
When I met with Gila last week, I told her that I knew Chopin’s work was almost entirely written for the piano, but didn’t realize that Schumann had such a big body of work for piano.
“Schumann wrote his major pieces when he was young — 20-30,” Gila said.
Chopin wrote piano music all his life, which was unfortunately a short life, having died at age 39 from complications from tuberculosis.
Don’t get me wrong. The concerts are not all piano music. There are some chamber works included.
Gila says she loves the process of putting together a program like this, especially when she can call on her colleagues to help her.
She sat down with all the works by the composers and tried to pair music that would complement each other.
The harder part was finding room on the ever-crowded Legacy Hall schedule. Between guest artists, faculty concerts and student recitals, Legacy Hall is booked way in advance. Besides that, she had to find faculty who were able to carve out some time to learn the pieces and be free the nights she had the concert series in Legacy Hall.
“It was quite a task,” she said. “But it worked very well.”
The second concert, the one next month, should be a good one to go to because it will feature her piano students. And it will be on Chopin’s birthday.
“That was a complete coincidence,” she said. “And Legacy was free.”
Now that she’s got this anniversary concert series under her belt, what does Gila have in mind for next year?
2011 will be the 200th anniversary of the birth of Franz Liszt.
With the 200th birthday anniversary of Felix Mendelssohn last year, Chopin and Schumann this year and Liszt next year, Gila said the years 1809-11 were momentous ones for classical music. It’s interesting that four of the top Romantic composers were born in a three-year period 200 years ago.
Wondering 200 years from now, which contemporary composers will be celebrated?