Guest pianist performs recital at Smith Music Hall

On Sunday afternoon, guest pianist, Bobby Mitchell, performed for a crowd in the Smith Recital Hall.

Mitchell played four pieces throughout the course of the afternoon and the crowd was more than receptive. Mitchell’s first piece was “Winnsboro Cotton Mills Blues” by Frederic Rzewski. Mitchell followed with a special piece written especially for him. Mitchell began by giving the audience some background on the song. The piece, called “Winter Nights”, was composed last year. “Winter Nights” was broken down into three parts; Night one, Night two and Night three. Mitchell explained these pieces were designed to make people feel as if it were the dead of winter, even on a sunny fall day.

Mitchell’s next piece was called “Fantasy”, which he composed this year. “Fantasy” is a mixture of prior fantasy compositions from 1985 and some of Mitchell’s own styling from the movie “Pinocchio”.

The final piece was called “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin, composed from 1898 to 1936.

The audience gave Mitchell a standing ovation at the end of his performance.

“It is always great to come and see pianists especially when they are specializing in new music,” said Olivia Hay, student pianist at Marshall University.

Olivia Hay said it is interesting to hear the different interpretations of new music.

“I have heard Rzewski before, but Mitchell brought a new approach to it which I thought was really neat,” Olivia Hay said.

Olivia Hay said she thought Mitchell’s version of Gershwin was very interesting. Olivia Hay said her favorite part was the fact that Mitchell was so in control of his performance and she enjoyed his original pieces as well. Olivia Hay’s mother, who also said she enjoyed the show, accompanied her.

“The show was great,” said Anita Hay, mother of Olivia Hay.

Mitchell is an American pianist who is mainly interested in music of today’s world. Mitchell has performed in the Middle East, South Africa and Europe.

Mitchell is the first prizewinner of the inaugural William Garrison Piano Competition from the American Liszt Society, Baltimore-Washington Chapter. Mitchell also performed as concerto soloist with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Noord Nederlands Orkest, Amman Symphony Orchestra and many others. Mitchell records for the Alpha/Outhere music label and for Telos Music. Mitchell currently lives in Germany.

Mitchell will also play shows in Arlington, Virginia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,

Contact Kalyn Bordman at [email protected].