Piano performance captivates listeners

Concert Piano
Andrey Ponochevny Amarillo College 2019

By Titus Gilner/ Staff Reporter


Amarillo College held a piano performance by Andrey Ponochevny, prize winner at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow and the William Kappell Piano Competition. 

On Dec. 3 in the Concert Hall Theatre, Ponochevny delivered a beautiful execution of Beethoven’s Sonatas No. 30, 31 and 32.

The performance was part of the Art Force presents AC Piano Series. This concert in honor of Beethoven’s 250th Anniversary was not simply good, but fantastic and I truly commend AC for putting together such a series. 

This truly compelling performance displayed not only skill, but passion. The fluidity and ease, combined with storytelling-like timing. made this performance wonderful. 

The audience was impressed with Ponochevny’s performance. The memorizing melodies captivated the listeners. 

“I thought it was wonderful, very good,” Candace Thomas, an audience member, said. “It was refreshing. It was nice to just sit down for a couple of minutes and enjoy the music,” she said. “I felt inspired after the show,” Bonnie Stephenson, another audience member, said. 

Ponochevny played nonstop for an hour. Locked in a trance, he seemed to be playing as if he were the only person in the room. It was almost as if he was breathing in every note, often times with his eyes shut, as he danced across the keys. 

“I was floored he didn’t read any music. It was beautiful,” Valerie Nogel, an audience member, said. 

Ponochevny said he enjoyed performing for AC and playing Beethoven. “I like many composers. It could be classical, contemporary, romantic, Russian or German. 

I try to play as much as I can and explore different styles. At this point I mainly focus on romantic classical and 20th century,” he said. 

Ponochevny added that he appreciated having a great audience. “If there’s a chance I would love to come back. A wonderful audience, good piano, yes, it would be nice,” he said

I do not normally find myself at events like this simply because they are rare in Amarillo, and even rarer is experiencing such quality. I found the modesty of this performance strikingly compelling.

Beethoven’s sonatas are full of ups and downs. The sounds of silence between key transitions amplify the roaring breakdowns, to put them in 21st century terms. 

I often compare modern day instrumental artists to the great composers of the past and this performance has made me second think that comparison. 

As a casual classical music observer, I found myself feeling happiness and sadness, passion and apathy. 

Music that can evoke any feeling is good music, but music that makes you evaluate yourself and your position in life is hard to find.

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