do you hear what i hear piano concert

Gonzalo Saucedo


The “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Lecture and Piano Concert Series continued on Friday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Music Department Building as students and musicians were educated on the life and work of 19th-century romantic composer and virtuoso pianist Frederic Chopin.

The event was the second in a series created by Christine Lopez, the Director of the Applied Music Program and the coordinator of the Keyboard Studies program here at Cerritos College.

Like the first event, which explored the music of 20th-century Spanish composer Joaquin Turina, the 43 attendees were first given a lecture by Lopez expanding upon Frederic Chopin’s history, musical styles, and novelty, and then a demonstrative performance by Mark Uraker, a pianist and instructor at California State University, Long Beach.

2010 marks Chopin’s 200th birthday, and that factored into his designation for this event.

“Chopin’s really big with everyone this year because it’s the bicentennial of his birth.  Right now, everyone is playing Chopin all around the world,” Lopez said.

“He’s definitely in the top 10 of the list of composers, particularly for piano.

“He was so good, in fact, that he was considered by many to be Mozart’s successor,” she said.

Attendees listened and took notes as the lecture went into detail about Chopin’s influences, the nature of his musical composing,  and emphasized on the complex structure of the pieces that would be performed by Uraker.

“Some of these pieces are just plain difficult to play,” said Lopez.

Following the lecture, Uraker entered the room to play a number of Chopin’s preludes, ballades, and polonaises on the piano, as students quietly listened.

When explaining where Chopin stands in terms of his own personal musical inspirations, Uraker said, “I think he is really one of the greatest performers ever to live,” and listed him as his fifth favorite composer of all time.

“I admire his life, as well,” said Uraker.

“He was very ill all his life, but he persevered and did what he had to do.”

The next music event at Cerritos College is the Annual Faculty Gala on Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. in the Burnight Theatre.