Protest Pianist

The annual Piano Showcase turned its attention to the theme of protest this year. Music’s ability to turn from entertainment into protest is one of its subversive traits. It can give a voice to the unheard, and a platform for the marginalised. As the audience was to discover, far from being mere amusement, this concert uncovered music as a beacon of cultural democracy and as an agent for change.

The programme was framed by two works by Dutch iconoclast Louis Andriessen. The Space Ensemble gave a riveting performance of his riotous Workers Union, and Mika Curson (Year 12) directed the socialistic Volkslied to conclude the evening.

In addition there was a multitude of brave and sometimes outrageous performances by the students of provocative pieces that proclaimed social and political messages.

One audience member summed up eruditely that, ‘it was awesome for students and parents to experience the influence of music in its cultural, social, and individual contexts. Like language and visual art, music plays its own awakening role in change and persuasion, hopefully for higher good; in return, it empowers the artists to see the talent and strength they have to make great changes’.

Tau Wey

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