A scintillating evening of music | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

A scintillating evening of music

Pakistan Press Foundation

The National Academy of Performing Arts was on Sunday and Monday host to two delightful evenings of music. While Sunday witnessed works by masters like Beethoven and Mozart, on Monday there were numbers that had been composed in the classical style, but the great classical and Romantic masters did not feature. There was just one piece by the French composer Bizet.

The two stars of the evening were Kimball Gallagher of the US and Kaiyin Huang, both adept pianists. However, they introduced two composers who compose in the classical style, Ming Hsiu of Taiwan and Hwaen Ch’uqi, a Peruvian who is now a naturalised American.

However, the opening piece of the programme was, as would have been expected at Napa, a piece of fusion music with Intizar Hussain singing the totally subcontinental classical Raag Jaunpuri with adept piano accompaniment by Kaiyin Huang. She certainly is a genius at the keyboard.

There was perfect harmony and coordination between the pianist, the vocalist and the Tabla master. True, the more orthodox of the music fans and the elderly may have had mixed opinions about the piece as Eastern and Western music has syntax which is worlds apart and the two can never mingle, but Kaiyin’s performance proved that they could on certain occasions. The fluency with which her fingers moved across the keyboard, complete with all the crescendos, made the performance come really alive.

This was followed by French composer Bizet’s selection from Jeux d’enfants. A piece in four movements, it was one for four hands with both Gallagher and Kaiyin doing a marvelous job jointly on the keyboard. There was perfect coordination between the two of them. The third movement was lively and vivacious while the fourth one was lilting and melodious.

Another lively piece, again for four hands, was Taiwanese composer Ming Hsieu Yen’s toy symphony. Finally, there was a Piano-Sitar duetwith Ustad Nafees Khan at the latter. Even though fusion music doesn’tnormally find much favour with the orthodox and the elderly, it washighly commendable. This was a really winsome rendition.

Both Gallagher and Kaiyin have highly impressive antecedents. She is agraduate of the Julliard School of Music, the Yale School of Music, andthe New York State University. She has performed at the prestigiousCarnegie Hall and the Lincoln Centre in New York apart from other citiesin Asia and Europe. As for Campbell Gallagher, apart from other venues,he has performed at the Carnegie Hall, New York, and a whole lot ofother  venues.

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