UC Berkeley’s Department of Music is ranked among the top music departments in the US, and frequently offers concerts and special workshops or events.
This past weekend from November 14 to 16, UC Berkeley hosted Piano Institute 2014, with three days of performances, lectures and demonstrations, and master classes in the resonant Hertz Concert Hall. Music enthusiasts had opportunities to listen to renowned pianists Seymour Lipkin, Suzanne Macahilig, Kenneth Hamilton, Chuck Fuery, and Malcolm Bilson.
Two friends and I attended Seymour Lipkin’s evening recital on Friday, November 14, and as we listened to the cascading melodies of Mozart, Beethoven, and Walker, Mr. Lipkin’s artful piano performance brought us on a musical journey. One moment, it was as if we were strolling leisurely through a grassy meadow on a sunny afternoon, and another moment, we were lost and frightened in a dark, cold cave. Mr. Lipkin’s emotionally riveting delivery and mastery in portraying playful, light-hearted, and peaceful phrases, as well as passionate and commanding ones, made for a thrilling evening of music.
I particularly adored Mr. Lipkin’s animated foot tapping during Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in A-flat Major, Op. 110, and enjoyed how he played the fugue sections with such fervor. I also liked the intensity of the Maestoso movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in C Minor, Op. 111. The rich, singing trills of the Arietta movement brought a smile to my face, as they sounded like twinkling stars. It was a pleasant performance, and the entire audience gave Mr. Lipkin a jovial standing ovation at the end of the recital.
In addition to Seymour Lipkin’s recital, I’ve enjoyed attending a diverse selection of other performances sponsored by the Department of Music. One of my favorite regular events in the fall is the free Noon Concert Series, which takes place most Wednesdays and Fridays in Hertz Hall and features jazz, chamber, and classical ensembles, and soloists on various instruments. The UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra also performs in Hertz Hall a few times throughout the year.
If you’re interested in viewing a music performance at Cal, the Department of Music offers details of more events on their calendar: http://events.berkeley.edu/index.php/calendar/sn/music.html. As Bono once said, “Music can change the world because it can change people.”