Famed concert pianist takes to Mercyhurst stage

Adam Williams, Staff writer

World-renowned musical talent has once again graced the campus of Mercyhurst University.
On Oct. 5, piano virtuoso and composer Marc-André Hamelin performed for a small crowd of Mercyhurst students and outside visitors who wanted to catch a glimpse of greatness in the Walker Recital Hall.
Attendees not only witnessed the talent of Hamelin as a performer, but they also gained insight into the mind behind it during an interview.
The performance and the interview were part of the Live from Studio Q series by WQLN’s Brian Hannah. It promoted the Erie Philharmonic concert that featured Hamelin on Oct. 6.
The hour-long event began with a piece composed by Hamelin himself.
The piece immediately drew the audience in, showing the audience members the extent of his mastery.
After a well-deserved round of applause, Hamelin gave an interview, conducted by Hannah.
They discussed his other compositions and Hamelin talked of how important composing is for piano students, calling it “essential.”
Hannah brought up Hamelin’s 10 Grammy nominations, mentioning how impressive an achievement it is to have been nominated so many times.
Hamelin’s modesty shined through as he humorously stated that he likes to refer to himself as a “10-time Grammy loser,” understating the prestige associated with being nominated for such an award.
After the interview, Hamelin performed another piece, Franz Schubert’s “Impromptu No. 2 in A Flat.”
Following yet another round of applause, Steve Weiser, the Executive Director of the Erie Philharmonic, came onstage and was interviewed about the upcoming concert Hamelin was to give with the Erie Philharmonic, which featured pieces from Russian composers Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Dmitri Shostakovich and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
The last piece Hamelin performed for the radio broadcast was Claude Debussy’s “Feux d’artifice.”
This booming, powerful piece concluded the event perfectly, entrancing the audience with bursts of sound and expressive playing by Hamelin, before letting the audience go with a softer, quieter finish.
As the booming piece ended, so too did Hamelin’s time at Mercyhurst University.
The entire event was broadcast live on WQLN’s radio station as well as on Facebook Live.