October 30, 2020

If You Play a Piano in Claremont, Will They Hear It in Nashville?

MUSIC ACROSS THE MILES: CGU Music Professor Jenny Kim collaborated with Belmont University on an exchange of musical lectures and performances.

They did this fall, thanks to a unique interaction between CGU Music Professor Jenny Soon-jin Kim and Belmont University, located in the suburbs of the city known as the home of country music.

As another example of how arts and culture can overcome quarantine restrictions, Kim delivered a brief lecture and performed a sonata by 18th-century composer Leopold Koželuch for students in Belmont Professor Kristian Klefstad’s course, Piano Literature I.

CGU’s Jenny Soonjin-Kim

Kim played a fortepiano owned by CGU and modeled on the kind that Koželuch would have used to compose the work.

What, students asked, makes a fortepiano different from a regular one?


The instrument is framed in wood, Kim explained during her lecture, not iron (how modern pianos are framed). That allows for more delicacy and nuance, and it’s much quieter than, say, a modern Steinway.

Even if that instrument happens to be quieter than a more modern one, thanks to Zoom, Klefstad’s students heard Kim’s performance just fine. The following month, in October, it was Klefstad’s turn to reciprocate. He provided a Zoom lecture and performance of works by Ecuadorian composer Luis Humberto Salgado for Kim’s students.

All we can say about such a long-distance musical exchange is what anyone says at the end of any excellent musical performance: Bravo!