BY LAURA GRAMMES, STAFF WRITER
Susquehanna welcomed American pianist Kirstin Elgersma this past week to perform at Stretansky Hall. Part of the series of artists visiting the university, the pianist brings forth to the stage a delightful spin to the campus’ musical culture. According to her website, Elgersma is an active soloist, collaborative artist, and chamber
musician. Presenting her works internationally and from all over the United States, she is a specialist in contemporary American piano repertoire, her website said.
Her website also boasted that her talents have taken her to countless other concert halls
and universities throughout the country and currently now she works alongside Vanessa Sielert in a saxophone/piano duo group named Duality. Opening with a number from
Maurice Ravel, Elgersma put her own energy into the piece and created a magnificent display of sound. The melodies ranged from something swift and soft, to harsh and rough, to finally a happy medium of pleasant noise. Her presence alone created
her music’s atmosphere as it became evident she was lost within her music. Other composers whose works were featured that evening were Timothy Andres, Amy Beth Kirsten, J.S. Bach and Daniel Felsenfeld. Each note played by the pianist told a story and it was evident among many Susquehanna students the efforts Elgersma put forth
through her music. Contributions were even made to the keys of the piano by Elgersma’s voice as she hummed in time to her own music. Sophomore David Deiter said: “I personally found her performance to be very interesting.It’s always fun to watch an artist explore new techniques and emotions through their music.” According to her website, Elgersma is in huge demand as an adjudicator and has recently judged competitions in areas such as the Seattle International Piano Festival, the Washington State Music Teachers Association and the Illinois State Achievement in Music Exams. In addition, she is a founding member of the BASK Collective which is a professional organization dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration across the arts. Having such a renowned performer at the university inspiredmany students to come out and get a taste of what contemporary music is all about. Sophomore Lexi Bixler said: “Her work was very interesting and inspiring. I’m not particularly a huge fan of contemporary music, but I enjoyed her piece and her style of performance.” Visiting artists of all sorts come to Susquehanna but Kirstin Elgersma’s performance really rasied the bar for all musicians, both accredited and inspiring. With her contemporary rhythms and rich melodies, both general and musically inclined students have taken something from her works. Elgersma will be releasing her first CD produced by Albany Records later this year.