The Aaron Copland School of Music hosted a concert titled “A Program of Children’s Music” on March 27.
The concert was part of the Chamber Music Live concert series, which takes place Friday mornings throughout the spring semester in LeFrak Concert Hall.
The program featured a unique playlist by world-renowned artists Arbie Orenstein and Gerald Robbins.
The first segment of their performance consisted of pieces by Claude Debussy, Robert Schumann, and Gabriel Faure, with songs titled “Dolly’s Garden,” “Kitty Waltz” and “Minuet”.
The songs were four-hand arrangements composed in the 19th century that were specifically constructed for people to play and enjoy in the comfort of their own home with family and friends.
The tone of the concert was youthful, consisting of pieces designed to take listeners on a trip back to their childhood.
“I’m really enjoying the concert. It’s the first time I’ve heard four-handed piano and I love Arbie Orenstein, he’s my professor. They’re unbelievably talented, both of them,” Pinchas Fiber, Queens College student said during intermission.
Part two featured a selection of pieces by Maurice Ravel and Georges Bizet, with songs “The Doll”, “The Merry Go Round”, “Soap Bubbles” and others.
After intermission, Orenstein introduced the piece titled “Mother Goose” by Maurice Ravel.
“This next piece was performed by two young ladies whose combined age was 25. These are really among the most wonderful, enchanting, pieces that he wrote. Ravel said himself, ‘I wish to evoke the poetry of childhood’.”
The combined skill of Orenstein and Robbins provided for a lovely morning concert, filled with beautiful music and a relaxing environment for all listeners. Although meant to sound youthful, the pieces were also very sophisticated and intricate.
Orenstein, QC alum, received his PhD in Musicology at Columbia University. He is a published author who recorded the world premieres of several works by Ravel. He also studied in France and has taught at the Aaron Copland School of Music for over 45 years.
Robbins has performed throughout Europe, Japan and the US. He has also been featured on numerous radio and television broadcasts and is the co-founder of the Lyric Piano Quartet. He is a member of the chamber music faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.
Chamber Music Live will be holding four more concerts throughout the remainder of the semester in LeFrak Concert Hall, all of which are free to QC students with a valid Queens College ID.
The Queens College Orchestra will perform the last concert of the semester on May 15.