Library concert offers great piano music from BGSU studios


BG Independent News

Some of the greatest music written for piano will be performed in the atrium of the Wood County Library, Monday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m.

Performing on the library’s Steinway concert grand will be piano students from the Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts.

Masterworks from German and French composers, from J.S. Bach to Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy will be the focus of the program. The performance continues a series of recitals by BGSU piano students, who hail from around the world.

“It has been such a pleasure to have our beautiful piano in use,” said Michele Raine, the library’s assistant director. “The students give excellent performances, and I appreciate that they are so willing to share their talents with the community.”

Thomas Rosenkranz of the BGSU faculty coordinates the programs. “These kind of community concerts are important for our piano majors because it allows them to get out of campus and share their music with people who might not normally be exposed to classical music,” he said. “Too often in academia, things are quite insulated and these kind of concerts allow for a more real life experience for our piano majors.”

The concert will feature 10 pianists performing music by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Chopin, Debussy and Ravel.

College of Musical Arts attracts musicians from around the world. Among those performing on Monday will be Mengqian Lin, from China. Lin is working on a one-year piano performance certificate from BGSU.

In selecting a piece to perform at the library, she reflected on hearing a friend play at the venue. She decided to play the first movement of Beethoven’s Sonata, Opus 109. Considering the library’s “beautiful structure” and the piano, she decided “a simple melody line is better than complicated harmony.”

She also felt that an audience of community members would “prefer a more beautiful, singable melody. It’s easier to understand it.”

Lin came to BGSU this fall after completing a master’s in piano performance at Syracuse University. She’s planning to pursue a doctorate at another school next year, but felt she wanted another year of preparation for her auditions.

Lin selected Bowling Green because it seemed such “a calm, small town, very peaceful, very good for practicing and studying,” which is her focus this year. Her teachers at Syracuse also know Rosenkranz from his time there, and highly recommended him.

Lin, 25, has been playing piano for 18 years. She recalls when she was in kindergarten, one of her friends started taking piano lessons, and then a neighbor started lessons.

“More and more my friends started to play an instrument,” she said. “So I told my mom I was jealous of them. I also want to learn something.”

So her mother found a good piano teacher and bought a piano. Young Mengqian was excited … for about the first week. Then she got bored. But her mother kept her practicing.

The more she learned about piano, Lin said, the more she wanted to learn. “Every time I got some encouragement from my piano teacher, I felt very satisfied and confident,” she said. “As a teenager, time every time I performed in public successfully, I started to love it more.”

Coming to the United States three years ago and learning more about history of the instrument has deepened that passion, she said.

Beethoven is among her favorite composers. “Beethoven is really powerful and I really like the power and shock.”

Also performing on the program will be Qinchen Zeng, Mina Park, Rhys Burgess, Yuefeng Liu, Jonathan Guelfand, Jiachen Li, Xinran Wang, Hannah Bossner, Logan Maccariella, and Ben Sripramodya. The pianists come from the studios of Laura Melton, Solungga Liu, Robert Satterlee, and Rosenkranz.