From Juilliard to Boise State; Del Parkinson takes the stage

In a packed recital hall, Del Parkinson, music professor and world-renowned pianist, offered Boise State a glimpse of the talent true passion can create. Parkinson, who has studied at Julliard and performs globally, opened for the department of music’s 2012 Faculty Artist Series last Friday.

“I have heard Del perform countless times over the years. Boise is fortunate to have such a phenomenal artist in the area,” Stephanie L’Heureux, senior piano performance
major said.

Parkinson’s recital, “Impressionism,” which took place at The Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, was a perfect pairing of compositions by Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel with impressionist art by the likes of Claude Monet.

“I hope you enjoy the marriage of music and art,” Parkinson said while introducing “Impressionism.”

Never giving up on being an educator, Parkinson walked the audience through each of the compositions before sitting down to the piano. His clever narrations threaded together art and music history, humor and elaborate scene setting.

“There is a deeper subject matter going on in the painting and it is that this was the time of great hardship for French people in general,” Parkinson said of Jean-Antoine Watteau’s painting Embarkation for Cythera. “This is part of Watteau’s statement, that yes the privileged few could do things like this, but the people in general were suffering. To be honest I don’t hear any of that suffering in Debussy’s wonderful piece about this island of joy, so if you could maybe forget about that part.”

“Impressionism” thematically paired paintings with subject matters of Debussy and Ravel’s compositions. Slides projected paintings behind Parkinson and his piano and changed in precise timing to the tempo and volume changes within the music.

With movements of a classic artist, Parkinson’s dramatic yet eloquent lift of hands from his piano signaled the audience’s applause at the end of each composition. After performing seven compositions, Parkinson exited the stage, however, a standing ovation returned him to the spotlight to perform one final composition.

“To complete the evening I have actually returned to Debussy to play his best know piece,” Parkinson said.

Before Parkinson could fully introduce the name of his final piece, audience members whispered “Claire De Lune,” and so the musical evening ended with Debussy’s most famous composition about moonlight.

“To say Del is a fabulous musician is an understatement,” L’Heureux said. “His performances are flawless, full of excellent technique and beautiful interpretations. He clearly puts effort into his performances and the results are always
exquisite.”

Upcoming Faculty Artist Series performers will include cellist Brian Hodges, pianist Betsi Hodges, baritone vocalist Lynn Berg, clarinetist Leslie Moreau with the Faculty Wind Quintet and a Faculty Chamber Music Concert.

About the author  ⁄ Tabitha Bower

Tabitha Bower

Tabitha Bower is currently the Editor-in-Chief of The Arbiter. She became involved with The Arbiter after taking a News Writing class, and began by writing for both the News and Features sections as a journalist for one semester before taking a position as the Arts and Entertainment section editor. She is double majoring in English with a writing emphasis and communication with a journalism emphasis. After college she dreams of being employed in the field of journalism, traveling the world and instructing hot yoga. Tabitha is originally from a small tourist town on the coast of Maine, but has lived in multiple areas of New England, Florida, Hawaii and Okinawa, Japan. She once spent a year backpacking, scuba diving, surfing and basking in a hammock with a drink in Southeast Asia. She also has the talent of juggling school, work, looking fabulous and being super mom to her three-year-old son, Aiden.