What I know about classical music you can put in a thimble and still have some room for another subject.
However I know what I like and what I like about classical music is its fullness of being and how it can envelope you
even if you know nothing about the composer, the history or the music in general.
Now add a spectacular performance by one individual and it becomes an event of amazing quality.
The event was Thursday, April 7 in the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts Main Theater as part of the SOPAA Performing
Arts Series at Shawnee State University and the one amazing individual was Mariangela Vacatello.
A finalist in the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and winner of the Internet Audience Award,
Ms. Vacatello spent two hours completely enthralling an appreciative audience and even overcoming technical
problems thrown at her by the university.
Ms. Vacatello simply does more than just “play” as you or I would do.
She interprets music with the heart of an artist and with pure brilliance.
The pieces she interpreted consisted of selections from Chopin, Debussy and Liszt.
Over the years including those as a long-time SOPAA subscriber, I have been exposed to all of these composers and
what I know is that they can be beautifully melodic and yet technically difficult to “play.”
All of these pieces were trademark pieces by the composer and were considered “unplayable” at the time of their
In this concert with Ms. Vacatello she displayed a virtuosity and skill that when you watched just her hands an
amazing thing happened: they became a blur.
Her fingers flew across the keys with precision and control, but with the touch of an artist as she produced such
nuanced sounds from her instrument.

© Mariangela Vacatello