El Camino College to host Cliburn silver medalist pianist


One of the piano practice rooms available for students in the music library, the stamped music stand leaves no doubt that the equipment belong to El Camino College. Photo taken Sept. 7. (Delfino Camacho | The Union)

After three years, a pandemic and an increase in online-only courses El Camino College students can now once again attend live musical performances at Marsee Auditorium.

Famed pianist and 2022 Cliburn silver medalist Anna Geniushene will perform at El Camino College on Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. Her program will include works by composers such as Claude Debussy and Frédéric Chopin.

The pianist concert cost will be $26 for regular guests and $10 for El Camino College students able to present a student ID.

Representatives for the music department hope that this performance will be a milestone for piano enthusiasts. The impressive performances by Geniushene have drawn large crowds wherever she has performed.

Polli Chambers-Salazar, the Director of Piano Studies at El Camino College, praised Geniushene for her strong skill set.

“It’s our first live performance of a solo pianist in three years, so that’s a big deal and I think people are excited about that,” Chambers-Salazar said. “Also, the fact that she’s a Cliburn Silver Medalist is a big deal.”

Another reason why students are thrilled is because of an agreement struck with the Van Cliburn Foundation. The agreement will allow students to attend a master class and lecture led by Geniushene herself on Thursday, before the concert.

Any student who attends El Camino is encouraged to attend the master class because it gives students the chance to learn from Geniushene directly before enjoying her work.

While the master class is recommended for piano students looking to perfect their craft, it also benefits students who are simply interested in learning.

“Piano music, actually just music in general, to me it’s really a transcendent thing. It takes you to a different place, right? I know when I play, I always feel that way,” Chambers-Salazar said. “It’s a way of kind of taking you to a different world and experiencing the music.”

The class is free of charge and will be hosted at Haag Recital Hall.

Guests for the show will be required to present evidence proving they have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccinations as well as complete a health questionnaire.

Unvaccinated students are permitted to attend the event, however, they must provide a negative COVID-19 test taken at least 72 hours before the event. Regardless of immunization status, social distance seating and masks will be required inside the building.