Music professor to perform Beethoven works Sunday

Kandace Sebastian

The campus community will have the opportunity to hear Sylvia Kersenbaum pack 20 years of Beethoven’s musical compositions into a series of 2-hour concerts.

Music professor Sylvia Kersenbaum is performing 32 Beethoven selections of piano sonatas through the 3-part concert series, “A Journey Through Beethoven’s Life” at Van Meter Auditorium.

The professional music organization, Delta Omicron, is sponsoring the series that showcases Beethoven’s music at different stages in his career.

Beethoven’s sonatas are the best musical pieces to illustrate his life, Kersenbaum said. The sonatas were written during a 20-year span of Beethoven’s life.

“It’s like a musical diary of his life,” Kersenbaum said.

Kersenbaum describes Beethoven’s sonatas as the Bible of music literature. She views Beethoven’s music as vast and abstract and believes he is to music what Shakespeare is to theater.

For students , it is exciting and enriching when they view a professional piano recital, Kersenbaum said.

“It’s like the theater,” she said. “It has an hour of mystery and magic.”

This excitement may come as a shock to students Kersenbaum said. Many have never been exposed to classical piano recitals.

Several students who attended Kersenbaum’s first Beethoven concert Feb. 16 said it was their first recital.

Bowling Green junior Jared Markham attended the recital for his music appreciation class. Markham said he enjoyed Kersenbaum’s performance.

“I liked the last part of each one,” he said. “She comes out with a good finish with each one.”

Kersenbaum, who was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has taught piano at Western for 27 years. She has performed recitals throughout Europe and North and South America.

She said she has been influenced by music since she was a child.

“Piano then was to have a TV or computer now,” Kersenbaum said. “So many have never been exposed to concerts, nonetheless a full-length concert.”

Kersenbaum has been a Delta Omicron national honorary patron for 12 years. She was chosen by the national organization’s headquarters, located in Tenn.

Sacramento senior Ginny Lee, president of Delta Omicron, said she is delighted that Kersenbaum represents the organization.

The organization started the Delta Omicron Sylvia Kersenbaum Scholarship Fund in Kersenbaum’s honor for music majors last year. All proceeds from the recital go toward the fund.

“We are trying to show our appreciation,” Lee said. “We want to say ‘thank you’ while she’s still here and active.”

Kersenbaum’s next performance in the series is at 3 p.m. on March 16 in Van Meter Auditorium