Arts & Entertainment

Classical Piano Series

By: Nick McGill ~Sports Editor~

Acclaimed pianist Bruce Brubaker discusses his passion

In anticipation for the Music Series piano concert on Feb. 8, the Newswire sat down with Bruce Brubaker to learn more about his career, what pieces he will be performing and what it takes to become a professional musician.

Xavier Newswire: For those of us on campus and in the Xavier community
we now have access to the Xavier Music Series, which highlights great performers. What has come to be the greatest joy as a concert pianist?

Bruce Brubaker: The reaction of people to music is strong. When the audience gets something from a live concert, or when I get reactions from people who listen to my recordings, that’s rewarding.

Music is definitely a group activity. Performers may make musical sounds, but the listener completes the musical transaction. Music only really exists as it is heard.

Bruce at the piano - wbur dot org

Brubaker performs at 2:30 p.m., Feb. 8 in the Gallagher Student Center Theatre.

XN: When did you start playing the piano, and what made you realize that the piano was something to pursue?

BB: Like a lot of kids, I started taking lessons — from the lady down the street actually. I heard some remarkable recordings of virtuoso piano playing when I was 13 — and that did it. Right away I started telling everybody I was going to be a musician.

XN: What may have been the hardest part about being a college student studying music?

BB: If you want a public career, then I think it’s difficult not knowing what’s going to happen. You may even really believe you can do it, but before recognition from critics or people in the music business, you wonder.

XN: As we listen to your concert, what pieces can we expect to hear?

BB: My concert in Cincinnati is a real mix. Some fairly recent music and then some pieces by Brahms.

I’ve been very involved with repetitive music by Philip Glass and others, and I’m very interested to hear how that minimalism rubs up against other kinds of music.

XN: We hope to see more college students at the Music Series events. Why
do you think a live concert experience is accessible to everyone?

BB: Lots of people listen to a lot of recorded music. Ear buds in every day, maybe for hours. Live music is much more a group activity. It’s really an interaction between the musician and every person in the room, and of all those people with each other. The total experience is shared and also different for each person. And it only happens once just like that. Never to be repeated.