Posted on October 21, 2011 by Tia Lalani

Music major Jonathan Nesbitt combines music and acting in this submission to COPLAC’s e-magazine.

Metamorphosis, the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges’ electronic journal of undergraduate research, has been publishing peer-reviewed student scholarly and creative work since Fall 2009.

With the current issue, the journal features a performance of one of Prokofiev’s most famous works that is typically performed by narrator and orchestra. However, University of Alberta-Augustana Campus music major Jonathen Nesbitt does something that has rarely been done by professional pianists, let alone undergraduate ones; namely, he takes on both roles (narrator and orchestra).

Playing from Prokofiev’s original piano version that was subsequently rewritten for orchestra by the composer, Jonathan displays remarkable theatrical skills. The combination of musical and acting abilities displayed is rare in pianists. Only a handful of audio recordings exist where pianists attempt to perform both roles, and there are none available by undergraduate-level pianists.

As such, this video submission highlights creative work that is unique internationally. The genre of “speaking pianist” is sometimes encountered within more recent music written for piano, but it is seldom attempted at the undergraduate level because of the holistic demands it places on the performer.

Graduating from a public liberal arts and sciences campus that encourages exploration and skills beyond one’s primary discipline, Nesbitt was cited by jury members grading this performance for his boldness and professionalism in bringing together two of the Fine Arts disciplines—that of drama and music.

Augustana faculty mentor Dr. Milton Schlosser supervised Nesbitt’s work.

Watch the video here!


Posted in Augustana Campus, Featured, Fine Arts. | Permalink

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