An institute for critical education in the South Pacific
May 2016 – Audience savours piano renditions of Josef Haydn, Claude Debussy, and Erik Satie
A live piano recital by a European maestro on a small Pacific island? Bien sūr, mesdames et messieurs! On Friday evening, 27 May, 'Atenisi's fortnight musician-in-residence, Prof. Willy Merz, performed three sonatas by Josef Haydn, a prelude by Claude Debussy, and gymnopédies by Erik Satie. He capped his concert with his own dynamic interpretation of an Icelandic waterfall, Harmoniques d'eau.
Merz' residency was funded by his home institute in northwest Italy, the Institute of Advanced Studies in Music at the French-speaking University of Aosta Valley. The professor's visit to western Polynesia also includes a short residency at the National University of Samoa.
Whilst in residence at 'Atenisi, Merz taught modern composition at Tonga's Police Academy and Tupou College; moreover, classes open to the public were offered twice weekly on the 'Atenisi campus.