The Alumni Theatre in the Clock Tower was packed with fans to hear Maxim Bernard, for the hour-long, third installment of the Live at TRU! concert series. Approximately 150 guests including TRU students and outsiders were in attendance.
With the spotlight on Bernard, he stepped on stage and proceeded towards the piano. Pin-drop silence followed as he intimately introduced himself. Bernard was going to perform the historic legend Tchaikovsky’s overture fantasy of Romeo and Juliet. The intensity of his appearance made the crowd anxious to hear Romeo and Juliet give their life for love.
The CBC’s Young Artist prize- winner and internationally recognized French-Canadian pianist Bernard regulated his posture and cracked his knuckles as he prepared to awe the audience. Bernard showcased the orchestral composition with a high-pitched note like a mouse’s squeak, his right foot on the right pedal to sustain a series of notes whose sounds continues even after each key has been released. He also gently placed his left foot on the left pedal, producing a softer tone.
His body language changed as the notes started to recite the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet. It was as if his piano was telling a story. The notes matched the tempo as his facial expressions went along with the overture. He seemed lost in the moment, his eyes squinting at times, his bottom lip quivering with sounds of thunder rumbling low pitch notes.
All eyes were on Bernard and his playing appeared to be hypnotizing. The audience appeared to be hypnotized and a sense of sympathy was pouring out as a reaction for Romeo and Juliet’s tragic love.
“In a nutshell, it moved me and made me cry,” said TRU concertgoer Christina Alexiou.
Kamloops Symphony Music Director and Orchestral Conductor Bruce Dunn was also present, sitting in the last row.
Bernard has done shows all over the world.
“I will be touring across Canada. This stop was a part of my concert commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First World War,” Bernard said. “I think doing a solo recital for Tchaikovsky’s overture
of Romeo and Juliet is perfect for a small setting, it gives the audience a high and a low and gets them excited for love.”
I am not a huge fan of classical music but after watching Maxim Bernard strut his stuff I felt I lacked romance in my life. It made me like myself a little less. It is moments like these, moments so real, so compelling, we are revealed in their truth.