Master Class with George Tsontakis | April 2014

On April 4 during a Master Class hour piano session, students Sharon Ho and Steven Gao had the privilege of performing piano pieces for renowned “composer, conductor and audience music educator” George Tsontakis (" Pytheas).

Tsontakisbegan the Master Class by giving a lecture for the audience, explaining that he is considered a contemporary classical composer, but he questions that label. explaining that what we listen to affects what we create or compose. Tsontakis sees hints of the works of the great composers he listens to such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Debussy, in his own compositions.

He also went on to explain the importance of practice and how practice is only efficient when you get something from it, seeing improvement in your musicianship, and when you can take something away from your practice time experience. This ending discussion led to the student performances, giving the audience and Tsontakis the privilege of seeing the benefit of students’ hard work in practice in their beautifully performed pieces.

Sharon Ho, a senior majoring in music education , performed a piece titled “Bagatelle,” composed by Tsontakis. The piece was unique, consisting of wide intervals and blending tones provided by vigorous pedal action on the piano. Tsontakis was very pleased with Sharon’s performance, and he congratulated her for playing this difficult piece extremely well.

Steven Gao, Pre-College Division student, performed his own composition, titled “The Mystery.” Gao’s piece, inspired by classical composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig Van Beethoven, featured dynamic and melodic contrast. After Steven finished his piece, Tsontakis congratulated him on a beautifully composed piece and a job well done.

Works Cited

" Pytheas Center for Contemporary Music." George Tsontakis at Pytheas ~ Contemporary, Modern, New, Non-Pop Art Music Composers, Ensembles & Resources. Pytheas Center for Contemporary Music, n.d. Web. 9 July 2014. http://www.pytheasmusic.org/tsontakis.html

"The World's Leading Classical Music Group." History of Classical Music. NAXOS, n.d. Web. 7 July 2014. http://www.naxos.com/education/brief_history.asp

Tsontakis, George. "Melva S. Mcllwaine Master Class ." George Tsontakis, composer. Millersville University Department of Music. Biemesderfer Concert Hall, Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center, Millersville . 4 Apr. 2014. Class lecture.

 

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