It’s 8 a.m. A light mist rises in the chill morning air as Doctor of Musical Arts graduate student, pianist and teaching assistant Silvan Negrutiu crosses the bridge spanning Abram’s Creek on his way to the Steinway practice suite in Ruebush Hall. An early morning rehearsal offers another opportunity to improve his technique and hone his craft. As he makes his way up the stairs, he anticipates the rehearsal process.
“I usually practice from 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. until noon,” he said. “Sometimes I practice in two sessions: one in the morning and one in the evening. Usually, I’m thinking of the music. I try to relate somehow to the composer’s mind. [Mentally], I go through a passage from that music, and I try to imagine ‘how’ and ‘why’ that composer decided to put it on paper that way. If you find some of these answers, even if they are not the right ones, they always help. They produce a big scale jump in your practice life. Once your brain is set the right way, you’ve done hours of practice already.
“Having the best piano to practice and perform on is one of the key features of a successful performance,” said Negrutiu. “If you don’t have the best piano, you never manage to get to that level. But when you have the best piano, then you are surprised about the way it sounds and the way it carries the music. It makes a really big difference in the performance.
“That’s the big effect this All-Steinway School initiative is having at this school. Having these instruments here is such a blessing for us. Together, with the exceptional faculty, Shenandoah is turning into a five-star educational institution in terms of the education, the instruments and the quality of the teaching. I think we’re all very grateful to the people who are willing to help make this a reality. The results are already happening, and if we have more pianos, and we manage to get the amount that we’re intending to, it will be a big deal.”
Find out More.
To see the interview video featuring Silvan Negrutiu, John O’Conor, Clyde Shaw and Elizabeth Temple, go to Shenandoah magazine online. To experience more about the Steinway Initiative visit www.su.edu/steinway.