Saturday, I had the chance to sit and listen to the talented young pianists of the Junior Louisiana International Piano Competition. Emmanuel Baptist hosted these eighteen pianists aged twelve to eighteen from four different countries. Throughout the afternoon, we heard many sonatas by Beethoven, plus one sonata each by Bartók and Scriabin, several preludes and fugues by J. S. Bach, and plenty of other well-played music.
From my spot in the lobby, I had the special opportunity to interact with each of the pianists and their families before they gave their performances, and I enjoyed learning a little about their personalities before their artistry took over at the piano. The pianist who went on to win first place – Jonathan Reichenberger – sat in the lobby for probably half an hour innocently telling several people “I’m the last one” whenever they would ask if he had played yet. He gave a stunning rendition of Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata, which is a favorite of mine to begin with. His older brother Matthew was also a competitor, so hopefully the two boys will remain professional and don’t tease each other too much – I would hope that they trade victories regularly at these sorts of competitions.
If you missed LIPC this Saturday, Emmanuel will host another concert tomorrow night. This time the artists are local – namely the singers of the Red River Chorale, the leading classical choral group in Central Louisiana. Tomorrow, they will give a concert of music by American composers as well as a salute to those who have served in the military. With this American theme, the Chorale is welcoming veterans and active military to attend for free. Celebrating America begins tomorrow at 7:30 PM at Emmanuel Baptist Church on Jackson Street.
So there’s plenty of music locally these last two weeks of October, and just looking at the November calendar there’s bound to be even more exciting concerts next month! Hope to see you at one or more of these upcoming concerts.
About Jackson. Jackson Harmeyer is a music historian and composer. He is a graduate of the Louisiana Scholars’ College – Louisiana’s designated honors college – where he completed an undergraduate thesis entitled “Learning from the Past: The Influence of Johann Sebastian Bach upon the Soviet Composers.” He has followed classical music around the world, attending the BachFest Leipzig in Germany, Colorado’s Aspen Music Festival, and many concerts across Louisiana and Texas. Resident in Alexandria, Jackson works with the Arts Council of Central Louisiana as Series Director of the Abendmusik Alexandria chamber music series. He also writes the program notes for the Rapides Symphony Orchestra. As his day job, Jackson serves as Operations Manager of TicketCentral.