Piano faculty member to give energetic, emotional recital Sunday

Kristina Burton

This Sunday, several people will start their day by finding out if the infamous groundhog saw his shadow, and several people will end their day by finding out who the latest Super Bowl winner will be.

For those in need of plans in between these two activities, Dr. Zachary Lopes, an assistant professor of music here at WKU, will be giving a piano recital in Van Meter Hall this Sunday at 3 p.m.

“It’s a good pre-game show,” Lopes said.

Lopes, who just started teaching at WKU in August, said he likes to educate people by telling them about composers and the context of pieces he plays.

“I think all of that’s fascinating,” Lopes said. “To share that is important.”

Lopes said the recital features a varied amount of music that spans four continents. Featured composers include Beethoven, Nikolai Kapustin, Heitor Villa-Lobos and more.

Lopes said he’s excited to share a piece called “Desperate Measures” by Robert Muczynski.

“It’s a piece and a composer that people don’t hear too much piano music from,” Lopes said.

Lindsey Byrd, a Princeton junior who receives piano lessons from Lopes, said she is excited for the recital because she hasn’t heard Lopes play by himself since last April.

“He gave a mini solo recital here at WKU when he was applying for the position in the piano faculty,” Byrd said. “I’m excited to hear him as a solo artist again.”

Dr. Donald Speer, a professor of music at WKU and Lopes’ next-door office neighbor in FAC, said Lopes is a fabulous piano player who brings a high degree of craftsmanship to his playing, preparation and performance.

“He plays with a lot of energy, emotion, technical control and a lot of finesse,” Speer said. “Those things I think are going to be very evident in his performance on Sunday.”

Dr. Ching-Yi Lin, an assistant professor of music at WKU, said Lopes’ playing style is flashy, brilliant and very interesting.

“Those who come to the recital can expect a world-class performance of a high caliber,” Lin said.

Lopes said he hopes the recital is fun and engaging.

“My goal and my hope as a performer is to break down the wall between the performer and the audience,” Lopes said.

“I want to talk with them about the music I’m playing and express in such a compelling way that they can understand what I’m doing,” he said. “I hope they can receive it and relate it to their life in some sense.”