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Pianist Rafal Blechacz brings Fresno State to its feet

International award-winning pianist Rafal Blechacz brought his talents to Fresno State, performing works by J.S. Bach, Beethoven and Chopin at the concert hall in the Music Building.

Blechacz has performed around the world in countries in Europe, North America and Asia, organizing concerts in the most famous concert halls and in the largest music centers.

On April 7 the concert hall filled with spectators from across the Central Valley, as many anticipated the performance from Blechacz, the Chopin Piano Competition winner. This performance was part of the Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concert Series that has brought several other world-renowned musicians to campus.

Blechacz’s talent and showmanship has earned him many awards including the President of the Republic of Poland’s Medal, which was awarded following a concert at the National Philharmonic.

As Fresno State audience members began walking to their seats, the anticipation of the performance could be felt around the room.

Audience member Terry Finland had never seen Blechacz perform live in concert and was interested to see how the performance would pan out.

“I read about him and wanted to see how good he was,” Finland said. “He blew my mind away, I didn’t think he would be that good.”

The reaction from Finland was one of many as Blechacz began playing the keys to legendary musician J.S. Bach.

Blechacz’s stage presence was second to none, often playing the keys with his eyes closed, looking into the air and feeling the music.

After Blechacz performed two to three numbers, the audience members would rise to their feet, giving Blechacz standing ovations.

During the brief intermission, many groups throughout the hall engaged in conversation expressing their thoughts of Blechacz’s performance.

Audience member Kaitlyn Miller said she was impressed by the performance.

“I’ve been to many performances in music hall,” Miller said. “This is one performance that stands out to me because of the difficulty of the music he is playing.”

Once Blechacz finished his last performances by Chopin, the audience stood to its feet and gave Blechacz an electric round of applause.

Audience member Daniel Moretti said he believes the performance by Blechacz was the best performance he’s ever seen by a pianist.

“Hands down, Blechacz is the best pianist I’ve ever seen,” Moretti said. “Hopefully, he comes back to Fresno so I’ll be able to see him perform again.”