Faculty, international chamber musicians gather at Sam

musical campus culture

The Sam Houston State University School of Music had a faculty recital with special guests on Monday night in the Performing Arts Center. This recital focused on chamber music and had six performers.


Chamber music is a form of classical music that traditionally involves only a small group of instruments, originating in the 18th century. These musicians came together at Sam not only for professional reasons, but social too.


Husband and wife Josu De Solaun and Anna Petrova, SHSU faculty members, are old friends with international violinists Jesus Reina and Anna Nilsen, who are also married. They also brought along two students from Spain to perform, David Campos and Laura Romero. The recital was divided up into four sections.


The first section was the piece “Violin Sonata in C Minor, Op. 45, No. 3” composed by Edvard Grieg. The two wives performed the simple and beautiful song. Nilsen was playing the violin and Petrova was on the piano. The pairing of the piano and violin was perfect. They went together well, and yet at the same time became a beautiful, ironic contrast.


At the beginning of the recital, De Solaun described this first piece as “a great storm” and then “the calming aftermath.” As the music increased with intensity, then the sudden climax hit and began to slow down, his point was made. There was definitely a story behind the two ladies’ powerful performance.


The recital went on with the introduction of one of the Ivan Galamian Strings Academy students, Laura Romero, who came from Spain to America for the first time. She played the violin alongside De Solaun on the piano to the song “Violin Sonata in A Major, Op. 100” composed by Johannes Brahms.


Romero seemed a little nervous but continued to play spectacularly. It seemed like this piece in particular was very complex. The music would go from hard to soft in a matter of seconds and Romero never lost a beat.


David Campos, the other student from Spain, preformed next. He played alongside De Solaun as well but this time with a viola. These two instruments sounded just as smooth as the violin and the piano.


The name of the piece they performed together was “Viola Sonata in E- flat Major, Op. 120, No. 2” by Johannes Brahms. Campos seemed to have a real grip of the song; He would play his instrument with what looked to be his eyes closed. It was as if he was feeling the music through his body rather than just playing an instrument.

The last section was Reina and De Solaun performing “Violin Sonata, Op. 18” by Richard Strauss. The epic tale behind this piece is the young life of Strauss and the tragic end of an era in his home of Vienna.


The song was both full of passion as though trying to hold on to something and full of melancholy when in the end there is nothing left to do. The piece was complex on the piano and the violin. It was a great piece for the seasoned professionals, Reina and De Solaun.


The sweetest thing was when the two friends hugged after the song was finished with the biggest smiles on their faces. They were as happy as the audience was with the finished product.


The one characteristic that stayed the same in every piece preformed at the recital was the deep passion each musician had. They were so invested into every chord and every melody.


Being able to see how much they loved the music made watching them perform even more beautiful. Their whole existence was being changed by this music, not just their ears. It was such a special thing to see.


The room in which the recital was held was just the right size and cozy. The lighting did a good job at showing off the instruments. The experience was enjoyable. Students should take more advantage of all of these free arts events we have on campus. It doesn’t take more than a couple of hours and then suddenly you are exposed to a whole other side of culture!


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