One of the most important components of the great history of music is classical music. It can be a pleasure to take a break from the everyday life routine in this form of art.

One of these opportunities was provided by full-time piano faculty member Dr. Jocelyn Chang, and head of keyboard studies at PCC Dr. Phillip Young. They performed some classical works of famous musicians together in the Westerbeck Recital Hall at the PCC Center for the Arts on Saturday, Oct. 15. The box office started selling the tickets for the concert at 5:30 p.m. Unsurprisingly, the line to buy them started forming an hour before they opened.

Dr. Chang and Dr. Young performed famous works of Brahms, Poulenc, and Stravinsky. Once the pianists started their performance, people enthusiastically focused on their skillful playing and intricate hand movements they were making. It was a truly exciting show, because Dr. Chang and Dr. Young were playing simultaneously in harmony and on two pianos.

Erick Lemus/Courier
The double-sided piano Dr. Chang and Dr. Young were using to perform the classical pieces.

“They’re both wonderful musicians and they are quite dedicated to their art, and they put on a great program. Really wonderful technique, very précised, very clean,” said David Dalati, a PCC student who used to perform with the pianists.

Dr. Young was introducing some of the pieces they were playing by providing the audience backstories interspersed with jokes. It was a nice way to get people into the right mood for the next composition. Once Dr. Young started to interact with the audience, the atmosphere became even more pleasant and friendly. It also was very interesting and informative to hear the story behind a number of great compositions.

“Everything inspires me. When we listen to Brahms sometimes we think that it is about life and experience in life. The things that are beautiful and the things that are ugly; everything is a source. All these composers were human beings and they experienced everything and we have an opportunity to experience what they did through their music,” said Dr. Young.

The techniques of both pianists was breathtaking. The most exciting part of the concert was the last piece they presented, “Petrushka” by Stravinsky. Dr. Young introduced this composition with providing some really interesting information. He said that the story behind the music is about three puppets that all have feelings. The main character Petrushka loves Ballerina, who refuses him and loves the Moor. Petrushka turns out to be a very emotional character. He feels a lot of pain because of his isolation from the rest of the world due to his funny and ugly look.

The story tells about Petrushka trying to get Ballerina’s attention, but she is afraid of his strangeness and tries to avoid him. Stravinsky didn’t make a happy end in this story, conversely at the end the Moor kills the main character. While listening to this composition, it’s easy to imagine all the scenes from the story and feel sorry for the main character.

They were playing together, but it seemed like they had became one person, otherwise it is impossible to explain, how two people could sound that precise, especially since they started to perform together not that long ago.

“Think about if the couple, they sit ten feet away and have the conversation. The distance can make it really hard to feel each other. However, for [playing] four hands we constantly have to adjust ourselves, because we share one keyboard,” said Dr. Chang. “I feel privileged to have an opportunity to perform with Dr. Young, who is a great artist and I respect him and it’s a great honor to work with him.”

After the performance was done, the audience didn’t let the pianists to leave. People got up from their seats and started to applaud. The audience absolutely loved the performance, as evidenced by the extended standing ovation.

The reception with Dr. Chang and Dr. Young was right after the concert ended. They provided some fruits, cookies and tea. All the people got together to share their feelings about the event. In about 20 minutes after the reception has started, the pianists showed up and were surrounded by people, who wanted to take pictures with them, give them flowers, and congratulate them. Everyone felt thankful for the unique experience they got at the concert.

Dr. Chang and Dr. Young are performing every semester not just together, but also with their students.

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