By Mason St. Pierre
This Saturday, October 1 at 11 a.m., Trio Ghidorah, made up of alumni guitarists Ken Luk ’11E, ’13 (MA), ’13E (MM), ’18E (DMA), Bernardo Marcondes ’19E (DMA), and Erik Gibelyou ‘19E (DMA) will present a “Guitar Extravaganza,” the first concert in our Morning Chamber Music Series. This event is free and open to the public.
The performance will reflect a wide range of styles, with music from Mozart to Glass and Stravinsky to Piazzolla, as well as a Boccherini quintet featuring Professor Nicholas Goluses and Eastman faculty string players. We spoke with Trio Ghidorah member Ken Luk about his time at Eastman and the upcoming “Guitar Extravaganza” program in Hatch Recital Hall!
Could you tell us about your time here at Eastman as an undergraduate and graduate student? What were some of the highlights and some of the challenges?
Having completed all my degrees at Eastman, I have obviously enjoyed everything Eastman has to offer. As nerdy as it sounds, I loved my lessons as well as academic classes, as the wealth of knowledge possessed by the faculty members is incredible. I am especially indebted to the teachings of professors Nicholas Goluses, Bob Sneider, Bill Marvin, Matthew Brown, Ellen Koskoff, Roger Freitas, and Dariusz Terefenko. I wouldn’t be the musician I am today without their guidance.
How has Eastman prepared you for the professional world? What advice would you give to our current students?
My studies in music theory and involvement with non-Western music ensembles at Eastman (Balinese gamelan, Zimbabwean mbira, Brazilian percussion) have brought me a wide variety of musical opportunities – apart from performing in a traditional concert setting and teaching, I have done a fair share of transcribing and arranging for different musical styles.
If I have to give one piece of advice to our current students (especially for those who want to perform chamber music), I will say this: start your group here and now, as you have the best access to wonderful musicians who are also your friends. Great musicians are not easy to encounter, let alone people who you enjoy working with. Oftentimes a student group is formed to fulfill a class requirement, but why not take the chance to nurture the group professionally?
Tell us about the upcoming performance on October 1 with the Ghidorah Trio. How did this group form? Are there any pieces in particular you are looking forward to performing?
Trio Ghidorah was formed to perform a benefit concert for refugees in Rochester in November 2018. The positive reception encouraged us to continue as a group. Our program on Saturday consists mostly of arrangements created by us, so I must say we look forward to performing the whole program!
Morning Chamber Music is a series of hour-long chamber music concerts directed by Assistant Professor of Cello Rosemary Elliott that features distinguished Eastman alumni who represent the rich diversity of our school, playing chamber music in alongside collegiate faculty members, and students in varied programs. All Morning Chamber Music events are free and open to the public.
The series continues in 2023 with cellist Jeffrey Ziegler ‘95E on February 4, and baritone Malcolm Merriweather ‘10E (MM) on March 18.