Library piano recital showcases the top talent from BGSU College of Musical Arts

BGSU pianists Zhanglin Hu, Yuefeng Liu, and Hanqiu Xu recently talked about the recital series at the Wood County library. Liu will be one of seven pianists performing on Oct. 1.


BG Independent News

Entering her senior year as a piano performance major, Yuefeng Liu has a lot on her agenda.

That includes preparing for the next stage of her career — auditioning for graduate programs.

On Monday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m.  she’ll take time to join six fellow Bowling Green State University Piano students to perform a free public recital in the Wood County District Public Library’s atrium. The program will include music by Beethoven, Chopin, Bach, Rachmaninoff, and Carl Vine.

Liu, a student of Laura Melton, will perform two movements from Beethoven’s sonata in F minor, the “Appassionata.” That piece will be part of her audition repertoire.

These recitals, said fellow pianist Hanqiu Xu, who also studies with Melton and has performed at the library in the past, tend to be more relaxed than those on campus. “It’s more enjoyable,” she said, and that can lead to a more expressive playing.

Pianist Zhanglin Hu, a student of Robert Satterlee, feels the same way. But it doesn’t matter the venue or the audience. The goal is always to make beautiful music, he said.

Solungga Liu, professor of piano at BGSU, said that though the students may feel more relaxed, it does not mean they and their teachers take these concerts, which happen several times over the year, lightly.

Rather they take the library recitals very seriously and prepare diligently for them, she said.  “The selection (of performers) is very strict.”

Only the most prepared students are selected to perform. “We only want the best. This is good exposure for the college,” Solungga Liu said.

While the recitals have occasionally had themes, that’s only been by happenstance. The pieces are selected by the faculty members based on what the students have best prepared. 

“The library is the most ideal environment outside the College of Musical Arts,” Professor Liu said. 

“The audience is receptive and always very attentive. It’s very encouraging for the students. We need a venue like that. It makes students leave their comfort zone and have an opportunity to perform for a completely different group of people.”

While there are familiar faces in the audience, she said, “there’s some new faces as well and more kids, and they stay quiet the whole time. It’s very nice.”

Xu said at the library the performers also introduce their pieces, telling a bit about themselves and sharing background about the composition they are about to play.

Some people who have come to the library to check out books also happen upon the music.

And Hu said he enjoyed the chance to chat with community members after the concert.

Solungga Liu said she appreciates the efforts Michele Raine and other library staff members put into staging the recitals.

In the end it all comes down to the music. Hu said he always welcomes a chance “to share musical ideas.”

“We’re performers,” Yuefeng Liu said, “so we should find many opportunities  to play in front of people.”