By Jada Butler
Assistant News Editor
Brought to the Great Hall of Winnick Mansion from the studio of professor AeRee Kim, the LIU Department of Music presented the graduate piano recital of Xiaoyao Che on Thursday, March 23. Over 30 guests filled the hall at 8 p.m., friends, family, and professors of Che, to support and witness her mystifying skills on the piano.
The recital began with “Sonata in D Major, K. 491 & 492,” written by Italian composer, Domenico Scarlatti. The lively and energetic scales accompanying the two sonatas and the clear expression of emotion through Che’s concentration captured the audience. It was a stunning opening piece that had the audience eager for more.
Che ventured through the carefree and “joyous composition” of “Sonata in A Major, D. 664,” by Austrian composer Franz Schubert in allegro moderato, andante, and then allegro. Che’s fingers danced across the keys of the piano, showing off her expertise.
“It takes a lot of hard work and discipline to do what she does,” Harris Becker, Che’s classical guitar professor, said.
Che then descended upon the playful and spritely prelude for “Harp” as well as the shorter, dissonant – yet pleasant – and bright melodies of “Visions Fugitives,” a series of individual pieces, “Lentamente,” “Animato,” “Molto Giocoso” and “Ridicolosamente” by Russian composer, Sergei Prokofiev. Che’s vigorous concentration, along with the whimsical musical vignettes within the series, took over her body as she moved with the music in an intense display of feeling and depth.
The recital ended with “Ballade, Op. 10, No. 1 in D minor” and “Rhapsody in G minor, Op. 79, No. 2” by German composer, Johannes Brahms, which “evoked the sense of a mythological past” with it’s open fifths, octaves, and simple triadic harmonies.
Che was met with a standing ovation at the end. She cheered, “Finally, I finished this recital!” She was then immediately flocked by friends and family and buried in various bouquets, including a stalk of broccoli and two cucumbers – an inside joke with her friends.
“It was a very good performance,” Kweon Jung, a sophomore biology major and friend of Che’s, said.
Overwhelmed with excitement, Che could not find the words to express her happiness, and continually thanked everyone for attending.
Che, born and raised in Zhuhai, China, began to learn piano and singing at 12-years-old. She received her bachelor’s degree in music education at Xinghai Music Conservatory in Guangzhou, China, in 2012, where she majored in piano and minored in vocals and double-keyboard. In the fall of 2014, she came to LIU Post to begin her graduate studies, pursuing a master of arts degree in music performance. Che studied both piano and classical guitar, and has grown exponentially in her skills.
AeRee Kim, Che’s piano professor for two years, expressed her happiness with Che’s growth and development. “We are always trying to improve her skills and build her repertoire,” she said. “She put her entire heart and soul into this performance, and I am happy with the results.”