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October 17, 2017

Musicians will recognize 100th anniversary of Russian Revolution during SVSU concert

It has been 100 years since the Russian Revolution in 1917. This historic moment and its aftermath are being recognized on Friday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. during a musical performance in Saginaw Valley State University's Rhea Miller Recital Hall. A trio of musicians with experience on international stages will perform pieces composed in the early-20th century Russia using instruments such as the piano, cello, and violin. 

In 1931, the Soviet state decided that the only music that could be produced was the "mass song." This music typically had a march-like tempo and revolutionary text. The communist government strictly regulated the music during this time period, ensuring that all compositions met the standards of what they considered to be "authentic proletarian genre."

Both composers Shostakovich and Prokofiev, featured in the recital at SVSU, were denounced in 1934 and 1948, respectively, for creating music that did not meet the guidelines set by the Soviet state. However, their music is still played today. Their unusual tempos, difficult-to-play harmonics, and somber notes set them apart from other musicians during this time. This recital will showcase two pieces from Shostakovich, "Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor, op. 40" and "Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, op. 67" as well as Prokofiev's Sonata for "Violin and Piano in D major, op. 94a."

MiJung Trepanier, adjunct instructor of music at SVSU, will perform these historic works on the piano, alongside Jamie Fiste, a professor from Central Michigan University, on the cello, and Takeshi Abo, instructor of violin and viola at Albion College on the violin.

Trepanier has performed with the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra and participated in a solo recital at Grove Music Festival, among many others. She is an active educator across the Midwest, not only teaching piano but lecturing to music teachers and their local communities.

Fiste has been featured on stages in Hungary, Budapest, Germany, France, Spain, and across the United States. He has been a prize winner in the Rolland Competition, Cello Society Completion, and the University of Illinois Concerto Competition.

Abo's music and performances throughout the United States and Japan have been deemed "breathtakingly beautiful" and "angelic" by critics. Along with teaching and performing, Abo maintains his own private studio where he educates young violinists.

Admission to the concert is free of charge. For more information on concerts and music programs at SVSU, visit