Feeling the emotion in a piece of music is a key component in any performance, and senior piano performance and pre-med major Bethany Sigurdson showed this passion in her recital on Monday, Nov. 12. Sigurdson had a variety of pieces in her concert with composers like Debussy, Albeniz, Beethoven and Grieg. She began with a Prelude by Debussy leading into Klavierstucke, Op. 118 by Brahms. But, everyone’s favorite piece seemed to be the last.
For her closing piece Sigurdson performed Edvard Grieg’s Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 III. Allegro Marcato.
“I loved her program,” said Anna Mullinaux, senior piano major. “Her pieces were a really nice collection; they have a lot of character and personality to them. She did really well playing them. I kind of like the quirky pieces. I loved the Grieg, well when I mean quirky I mean different. I like Grieg’s sound anyhow and the chords he uses and the style he plays, so for me that was exciting and plus it’s a concerto so it’s big and shows off her skills.”
She wasn’t alone on stage, however, during the Grieg piece as well as the previous one. She was joined by her piano professor, Del Parkinson, Ph.D., who praised her performance after the recital.
“This is the best I’ve ever heard her perform, Bethany just outdid herself this evening and I’m thrilled for her and she’s got to feel very good inside, very happy,” Parkinson said. “Her growth between then (junior recital) and now has just been astonishing, and I think that she gained a lot of confidence by playing her junior recital and having it turn out so well and that it made this evening easier as a result and she was able to play, I think, with greater confidence than she would have otherwise.”
Sigurdson played all the pieces from memory. According to her, memorizing the hard compositions was difficult, but the end result paid off.
“I was really happy with the performance,” Sigurdson said. “It was really great to end on a piece with Dr. Parkinson. I would have changed a couple things if I could go back and redo it, but overall I was very happy. The Intermezzo in A, the second Brahms that I played, normally I have a lot of memory trouble, but tonight for some reason it seemed to just click … Yeah, the memory is definitely the most difficult part in piano performance and it’s just one of those things that it’s part of the deal.”
After the recital a reception was held upstairs for the performer, her friends and family. Everyone gathered around Sigurdson and congratulated her on her most recent achievement.
“We used to be roommates together, (I’m here for) moral support and we’re really close,” said Suzanne Elkoton, junior pre-nursing major. “I really liked it for the most part, like I’d give it a nine out of ten. It was really good. (I liked) the last one, because it had the most going on. It was, I think, the most appealing and modern sounding.”
Senior recitals like Sigurdson’s provide an opportunity for relatives and friends to support students and recognize the reaching of their goals. More senior recitals information can be found on the Boise State Music Department website calendar.