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Pianist Explores Light and Movement

"It's a sensual type of experience," Andrea Anderson told the convocation audience just before her performance, titled Journey into Impressionism, in which she explored the Impressionist movement through art and music.

Anderson played classical pieces by Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy on piano and was accompanied by slides of Impressionist art from such masters as Monet, Cezanne, Renoir, Seurat and Van Gogh. She also explained Impressionism and its history to the audience. "It was... a marvellous interchange of ideas," Anderson said.

Before she began playing, Anderson pointed out that the pieces by Ravel and Debussy did not contain a typical or easily memorable melody. Anderson added, "I bet you after the concert you can't come up to me and sing one tune." Instead each piece evoked a different sensory image, the rising and falling piano keys deftly exploring light, color and movement. Telling the audience to "just imagine these images," Anderson described the idea that each piece represented: goldfish in a pool; drops of water falling; wind on the plains; distant bells ringing through trees. As the audience listened to her play, the images came to life.

Andrea Anderson was born in Buchanan, Michigan. Her musical skills began attracting attention at the age of four, and she later studied at the Manhattan School of Music, Columbia University, and University of Southern California. She recently earned her PhD at Claremont Graduate University. She has been awarded the Harold Bauer Award and a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation for further study and performance at the Aspen Music Festival. In addition to the United States, where she has performed in many prestigious music halls, Anderson has also performed in China, Sweden, Finland, and Lithuania. More information can be found at her site, linked below.

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