Mendelssohn Festival to celebrate German pianist’s bicentennial

Sara Petersen

Guests, professors and students perform

The Mendelssohn Festival, sponsored by the Piano Division of Kent State, opens today. The festival will honor and celebrate the 200th birthday of German romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn, born Feb. 3, 1809.

Saturday night’s lineup

&bull Megan Barth

&bull Suham Bello

&bull Jon Brown

&bull Joanne Chang

&bull Sofia Chaves-Hernandez

&bull Seung Hyun Yoo

&bull David Jaramillo

&bull Richard Jeric

&bull Anthony Lebfevre

&bull Samanatha Lee

&bull Meagan Longanecker

&bull Natalie Todd

&bull Beverly Wittlesey

The festival is the final segment of the Keyboard Series, a collection of five or six piano recitals held every academic year. During these recitals, assistant piano professor Jerry Wong and associate piano professor Donna Lee always perform with guests.

The students appreciate the chance to see professionals perform.

“I see performers as role models,” said Samantha Lee, junior music education major. “I do what they do.”

“You get to see a lot of what they’re doing,” said Richard Jeric, sophomore piano performance major. “They’re playing pieces that are similar or the same as what we’ve done before, and to be able to incorporate what they’re doing to apply to what we’re doing … it’s really nice.”

Guest performer Victor Santiago Asuncion will be performing today at 8 p.m. Wong will be performing Friday with violinist Daisuke Yamamoto and cellist Marie-Thais Levesque at 8 p.m. Saturday, undergraduate and graduate students will be performing at 5 p.m., and Lee will be performing with cellist Keith Robinson Sunday at 5 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults and free for Kent State faculty, staff and students. No tickets are necessary for Saturday’s performance.

“It will be my first time to perform here at Kent, so I’m kind of excited about it,” said Joanne Chang, freshman piano performance major.

Contact performing arts reporter Sara Petersen at [email protected].