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Faculty members perform at Piano Sundays

BY JOSIE JONES | FEBRUARY 04, 2010 7:30 AM

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Ksenia Nosikova began playing the piano at the age of 6 — coming from a musical family, she said, it was a natural thing to do. The UI associate professor of piano has recorded five solo albums; in addition to teaching, she is the artistic director of Piano Sundays at the Old Capitol.

Created in 2007, the series of piano recitals highlights musicians in the UI School of Music. The concert series is the recipient of a renovated piano donated by West Music in Coralville.

Piano Sundays will continue this weekend with performances from Nosikova and Uriel Tsachor, the head of the piano department at the UI School of Music. The two faculty members will play at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber. The recital is free and open to the public. Other performances this the semester will take place on March 7 and April 4.

The series consists, typically, of three concerts per semester, which are usually on the first Sunday of the month. Two of the recitals feature piano faculty, and the others showcase graduate students and other players. Sometimes, a special concert for advanced high-school students is added to the series.

Nosikova believes that six piano performances in an academic year are the right number.

“It’s a good number of performances,” she said. “It gives us good exposure, but at the same time, we don’t want to saturate our audience.”

The atmosphere of the event is as informal as a piano recital can be. The performers are encouraged to talk to the audience about the music they are playing, which is something they cannot do in other venues.

“We share some thoughts and information we find important to the specific works,” Nosikova said.

Piano Sundays typically lasts about an hour, which allows the event to appeal to a general audience.

Nosikova said the less formal recital helps expose younger generations to the many differing aspects of the piano.

Her performance is dedicated to composers Chopin and Schumann to mark the 200th anniversary of their births. While she thinks the composers’ music is wonderful, she said, the recital is more of a tribute to them.

Piano Sundays usually attracts a varied crowd that includes students, faculty, staff, and Iowa City community members.

“From my experience, it’s been enjoyable from both ends,” Nosikova said. “On stage and from the point of the people that are listening.”


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