Junior Recital: Austin Nikirk
It’s almost senior year! How’re you feeling about that?
"Pretty excited! And also nervous. Lots of exciting things coming!"
Besides your recital, what are you most excited about this year?
"I will be presenting some research I did last summer at a theory conference later this month with my mentor! Stay posted for more details on that later."
What’s been your favorite experience studying music in college?
"At school, we have a recital hour called “Now Hear This!” which is an hour on Fridays when students can sign up to perform things they’re working on, pieces for their recitals or juries, or just for fun. I’m usually in the last category, and I have performed on more than I can count, because I love the environment of getting up and practicing my art in front of my peers."
Okay, so, recital time. Let’s start with the easy question. When and where is your recital?
"My recital is on March 1st at 3:30pm, in Schmucker Memorial Hall."
What’s your favorite piece on your recital? Why?
"It’s so hard to choose just one, I’ve lived with and researched this music for so long! But of course, French music is near and dear to my heart, so I would choose my Germaine Tailleferre set. This music was composed just following her divorce and miscarriage, and is widely considered as a reaction and way to process the immense grief and trauma she had just endured. So much of that emotion is obvious in the music, and portraying it on stage is definitely going to be a challenge."
How has the recital process been for you? What did you have to do to prepare, and how do you feel about it all?
"All of the music I am singing is brand new for this semester, so I’ve really been learning and perfecting at the same time. It’s a lot of music to learn in such a short period of time, but I’m not sick of any of it yet, so that’s a good sign!"
If there’s only one thing you want audience members to get out of your recital, what would it be?
"My recital is all music by female composers, a largely and historically underrepresented group in the compositional world. I hope to bring exposure and excitement to their work, and encourage other musicians to seek out the music of less-performed composers and demographics."