Acclaimed pianist brings talent to Mansion, performs multiple pieces

By Jeny Varughese
November 10, 2010

“Reflections on 9/11,” a sevenmovement piano solo piece, was performed by Karen Walwyn, a nationally acclaimed pianist, in the Mansion on Sunday, Nov. 7.

Walwyn composed “Reflections on 9/11” so that each movement corresponded to the events of that day and its aftermath.

Karen Walwyn played her third performance at Cabrini College. Walwyn has been playing the piano since she was a child and is now a nationally-acclaimed musician. --Jeny Varughese / Staff Writer

The final movement represents a hope that every country can live through this tragedy and still be united.

As a child, Walwyn’s parents had her learn the piano and play for several recitals. When it came time to decide on a career, Walwyn decided to study what she knows best: the piano.

“My favorite piece was Anguish because it showed a lot of fear,” Marissa Alarcon, freshman English major, said. “The piece seems to be very energetic and complicated.”

Walwyn, a concert pianist and recording artist, performed at Cabrini in the past making this the third performance at the college.

“I knew Karen for a number of years and knew she had written this piece, which I heard on her CD,” Dr. Adeline Bethany, fine arts professor, said.

“I was very impressed and thought it would be a good opportunity to meet a person who is a pianist, composer and a recording artist. Also, I wanted to give her the opportunity to showcase her work,” Bethany said.

“I studied the piano but never discipline,” Walwyn said. “It’s easy to listen to composers but hard to compose your own piece.”

Walwyn’s compositions were originally created a month before the attack meant to be a single movement piece. However, after the events of the attack, it became a much bigger creation.

“I was on my way back to Barcelona on that unfortunate day,” Walwyn said. “I had no idea what was going on.”

“That Day,” the first movement, has several Spanish components to it since it was originally meant to be a one movement piece.

“Aftermath,” the second movement, shows quiet reflections of fear and devastation.

“Anguish,” the third movement, doesn’t represent the full effects of the emotions expressed.

However, it represents the sorrow, torment and betrayal felt worldwide.

“Unanswered Questions,” the fourth movement, describes collective frustration from people demanding answers to the events.

“Memories,” the fifth movement, represents an American’s view of cultures from other countries. Walwyn hopes to touch on fond thoughts of other cultures through this movement.

“Burial,” the sixth movement is a quieter, songlike piece. This piece takes on a new reality that has taken form forever. This movement represents reflections of loved ones.

“The New and Marvelous,” the seventh and final movement, takes on a new form; the idea that different nations can live peacefully, even though this tragic event happened.

“Hopefully the piece captures some emotions and expressions of that period of time,” Walwyn said. “I know that each person and family may have experienced vast difference. I’m hoping that this piece may have expressed a wide variety of emotions.”

“Karen’s performance was very moving and inspirational, very solid.” Bethany said. “Through sound, it established the events of that day, the mood the tone and gave a feeling that there was more to come.”

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Jeny Varughese

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