Janikashvili performs “Concerto in D Major.” Photos by Sonja Brandt
By Victoria Cameron
Violinist and conductor Teimuraz Janikashvili visited Concordia on Sunday to perform a recital in the afternoon, and later, a conducting presentation for music students. He played Tchaikovsky’s “Concerto in D Major,” which was once said to be impossible to play.
The recital completely filled up the Recital Hall, with attendees from Concordia, Seward and Lincoln, thanks to the reputations of both Janikashvili and Associate Professor of Music Elizabeth Grimpo, who accompanied Janikashvili and advertised the event in Lincoln. The music received a standing ovation that prompted Janikashvili to play one more shorter piece.
“He definitely used pretty much every technique in the book as far as performance,” junior Charlotte Lines said. “Even though I was on stage turning pages, every chance I could, I would watch what he was doing. It was amazing because I know how to do those things but to execute them as cleanly and perfectly as he did with the expression along with it was just out of the water.”
Janikashvili later held a conducting demonstration which was more specifically aimed at music students. He acted out different ways to walk onto the stage, greet the orchestra and look at the orchestra. His acting put students at ease, but also drove home a direct point.
“Conducting an orchestra is very difficult,” Janikashvili said. “The conductor has to always be very clear.”
Students had been instructed to bring instruments to the demonstration. Janikashvili selected one student at a time to come up and play something. He then critiqued their technique, usually with playful dismissal first, followed by a more serious and genial suggestion on how to improve expression. It was entertaining, though also terrifying and unanticipated for students.
“I have no idea what I was expecting from this evening,” Lines said. “Definitely not what we experienced.”
Concordia was able to host such a world-class musician because of a personal connection. When former Concordia Regent Lyle Middendorf moved to Barcelona with his family, their real estate agent, and then neighbor, was Janikashvili’s wife Patricia. Janikashvili’s daughter Claudia finished her undergraduate at the University of Barcelona and wanted to do an international MBA, and was interested in Concordia’s MBA program.
“Claudia began her MBA program last week, so the family came over to give a sendoff to Claudia and we knew this would be happening, prayerfully, back in spring, so we began a conversation at that time,” Middendorf said.
Janikashvili encourages students to practice so their professors can do the most for them, and hopes that Concordia will warmly welcome Claudia.