World renowned pianist performs at Laurier

Marc Andre Hamelin, French Canadian pianist and composer, began his life long love-affair with music at a young age.

Beginning to play at age five, Hamelin had won the top prize in the Canadian Music Competition by the age of nine. Since, Hamelin has established himself across North America as one of the most talented pianists of our generation. Known for his fondness of neglected nineteenth-century composers-pianists, Hamelin consistently performs the works of Alkan, Busoni, Medtner, and Szymanowski.

On Friday evening, the composer played a free show at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Maureen Forester Recital Hall as a part of The the MWM Financial Group Distinguished Artist Series. The series, which began in 2008, is a multi-year commitment to Laurier’s Faculty of Music.

The performance, which generated a huge turn out, was quickly sold out. “People were lining up by 5:30 [p.m.],” said a Performance performance Facilities facilities staff member of at the 8 p.m. show. After quickly selling out the recital hall, staff members directed patrons to an upstairs classroom, where a projector was set up with a live stream of the performance. When that room, too, became full, another group of individuals were led to a second over-flow room, where they watched the concert on a small television. 

Clearly, many were eager to see Hamelin play, as Canadian performance dates have been extremely rare in recent years.

Hamelin, who performed for several hours, captivated the crowd with a skilled and emotive musical performance. Distinctly minimal in his performance style, Hamelin was still save for his hands, which became a blur of movement as they raced across the keys. 

Hamelin has made a successful career of his performance and composition; he was the only classical artist to play live at the 2001 Grammy Award ceremony in Los Angeles. Further, Hamelin is the recipient of a lifetime achievement prize by the German Record Critic’s Association and is admired world wide for his virtuosic technique and immense repertoire.

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