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Classical pianist comes to RC to play Olin

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Madeline Hooker

Staff writer

On Friday, September 23, The RC Performing Arts Series was proud to present the exquisite pianist Teresa Walters in a bicentennial celebration honoring the pianist Franz Liszt. In the two hour event, Walters presented a collection of Liszt’s most famous compositions as a group of young and old listened attentively while enjoying a night of classical music.

Walters could be compared to the music itself. Graceful and willowy with icy blond hair, Walters possessed a powerful presence not only while playing the piano, but also talking with her audience as well. She was poised and incredibly well spoken and proved to not be a stranger with the stage. Walters wore dramatic sparkly dresses both before and after the intermission, which contributed to her overall allure.

“It is always a privilege to share the world’s great music,” said Walters.

Before each group of music was performed, Walters shared a brief background of the compositions. The event consisted of a beautiful “Liszt” of tunes. Such titles included Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses, Benediction, or The Blessing of God in Solitude, Annees de Pelerinage, or Years of Pilgrimage, Romance, and the Canticle of the Sun of St. Francis of Assisi.

Many of the compositions contain wistful and haunting elements as well as stirring, powerful notes. Walters’ long, graceful fingers did Liszt’s work justice as one could almost get lost in the emotional music of the piano. Evident while playing and speaking, Walters was one with the Liszt’s music as she told the audience that it is very universal.

“Music is the language of the soul,” she said.

In recent years, Walters has gained worldwide acclaim for her astounding talent. Many have dubbed her as the “International First Lady of Piano.” She also possesses the growing reputation of becoming one of the finest interpreters of Liszt performing and recording today.

Walters’ career has allowed her to perform as a recitalist and orchestral soloist on six continents. She has performed in many venues across the U.S. including Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center, both in New York. Most notably, she was the first American pianist invited by Hungary to present the Anniversary Concert in honor of Liszt’s 200th birthday.

Franz Liszt was a Hungarian composer, pianist, and conductor renowned throughout Europe in the 19th century. Many believed him to be the greatest pianist of all time as well as being the most technically advanced. One of Liszt’s many achievements was the creation of the symphonic poem. The poem is a piece of orchestral music that contains both narrative and illustrative elements.

“[Liszt] was the greatest piano virtuoso the world has ever known,” said Walters.

Walters honored the musician beautifully and engaged the audience wonderfully with his music and a big grand piano. For two hours, nothing else was needed. The music spoke for itself.