Guest artist closes the season with an intense performance

Her body bends and leans from one side to the other, swaying to the music as she plays the violin, her dark hair falls in her face as her expression emotes the passion she feels for the music.

A professional violinist and pianist mesmerized a full crowd of Pierce students Thursday for the last performance of the season.

Two University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) students played four pieces beautifully in the Music Auditorium.

The violinist, Popova, spent most of her life in Bulgaria so the compositions she chose reflected the taste she acquired through her time growing up there.

One of the songs was, “like singing on the violin,” Popova said of “Sevdana” by Zlatev Cherkin.  The composition was sad and somewhat slow, very rich with melody and multiple crescendos.

The first song had four movements, all sounding almost like completely different songs.  “Divertimento,” the first song, was based on a ballet.

Popova has been playing since she was six and it is apparent in her masterful control of the violin.  She traverses the rough terrain of picking the violin in time with Lent, the pianist, and playing complicated pieces.

Lent constantly looks at Popova waiting for her to lift or drop her bow, their flow perfectly harmonized.  Lent and Popova have been playing for over a year accompanying one another.

James Lent’s big moment came during the end of the Afternoon Concert Series.  The piece was the “Grand Tango,” by Astor Piazzolla, originally written for the chello.

One of Popova’s colleagues from UCLA transcribed it for her to play on the violin.   The Piazzolla piece had three sections, which included a mix of very soft lyrical moments and aggressive, harsh sounding moments.

James Lent, the pianist, was bobbing his head with the force of his body pressing the keys of the piano.  Lent’s entire body moved to the rhythm of the music he was playing.  The “Grand Tango,” was Lent’s greatest point, simultaneously harmonizing with Popova and stealing the spotlight for a minute or two.

“I really enjoyed the piece, especially the last movement of it,” said music major, Patrica Rich.