by Allen Huszti, Guest Contributor
Since 1878, Oberlin College’s Artist Recital Series has presented performances by some of the world’s finest musicians. On Saturday evening, March 1, the audience in Finney Chapel had the special opportunity to hear a recital by an artist just beginning his career. George Li was 14 when he won first-prize in Oberlin’s inaugural Thomas and Evon Cooper International Competition in 2010. Now 18 and a joint student at Harvard and the New England Conservatory, Li has since won the prestigious Young Concert Artists auditions.
The first half of the recital included works by Beethoven and Schoenberg, the foremost composers of what we now call the First and Second Viennese Schools. Arnold Schoenberg’s, Sechs Kleine Klavierstücke (Six Little Piano Pieces), op. 19, opened the program. Together, the six pieces last only about four minutes and are excellent examples of expressionism in music — the kind of music that makes the listener hold his breath in wonder or awe. Li’s playing was marked by a high degree of sensitivity. [Read more…]