PORDENONE, Italy --
Bright spotlights focus on a single pianist seated squarely on his bench in the center of a stage, his agile fingers race across the piano keys as he plays, from memory, the 10th movement of a classical Bach piece.
The elegant music swept throughout the empty concert hall, but didn’t fall on absent ears. An audience of 22 students sat silently on stage as the pianist performed.
Maurizio Baglini, Italian pianist, invited an Aviano Middle high School sixth-grade class to join him inside the Pordenone Theater, March 10, 2017, for a morning of classical music appreciation.
“Today happened because we at the theater wanted to expand our audience to younger generations by introducing them to classical music,” said Baglini.
To Sean Boyle, Aviano musical director, there’s no better introduction than to invite your audience on stage and sit where musicians normally play.
“The school staff and I are excited for these children to take part in this learning experience,” said Boyle. “This is the first time the theater has reached out to the school. Now that the bridge is built, we hope to have more collaboration for our classes.”
The class was fully immersed in each note as Baglini guided them through works of the classical giants Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. The theme of Baglini’s musical journey was a glimpse into their improvisations.
“The concepts of classical music improvisation came during the Bach age,” said Baglini. “Here for an hour and a half, I briefly explained these concepts so they understood what happened in previous centuries.”
Between each musical piece he played, Baglini discussed how important improvisation was to classical composers to refine their skills and develop their own style such as Bach’s harmony, Mozart’s trills, and Beethoven’s romanticism.
To Baglini, one cannot fully appreciate today’s music without understanding what occurred in history.
“Younger generations should be open-minded, approach classical music and be curious to play,” said Baglini. “I hope this experience allowed these children to hear my inspirations and be encouraged to try new things.”
He let a final note carry on as his hands stopped playing a piece from Mozart. Baglini welcomed the class to stand and take a closer look at his grand piano.
The children’s faces grew wide with wonder as they peered inside the open piano, visually cataloging a network of strings and wooden framework.
“We now have something concrete together between the theater and the base,” said Baglini. “I hope to build on this experience and maybe create a song with the students. After all, music is the common language understood all over the world.”