Over the course of five busy months in 2005 and 2006, a journalism student from Columbia University followed Greg & Liz's every move. She sat through rehearsals, meals, lessons, and auditions, and she watched Greg & Liz perform in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Steinway Hall, and more. By the end, she had become an excellent page turner and had filled several notebooks with detailed anecdotes.
The result: an extended and amusing article observing the lives of two young performing musicians -- from the perspective of a layperson.
THE OTHER SIDE OF MAGIC
by Lisa McDivitt
The Juilliard School, the venerable New York conservatory, celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, and there was no better way to do it than to showcase its most talented students in a concert at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. The first two pieces on the program were performed by Elizabeth Joy Roe and Greg Anderson, two master’s degree students in piano performance at Juilliard, who also perform together as the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo.
Sitting side-by-side on their own piano benches at one piano, the two began with Franz Schubert’s “Lebensstürme.” Their four hands crossed fluidly with the pace of this beautiful staple in the piano duet repertory. After they finished the Schubert piece, the two stood for their bows. Elizabeth’s black and green outfit sparkled, and Greg stood tall in his crisp black suit. Suddenly, the texture of the entire scene changed. A stagehand took away the music stand sitting across the top of the piano, exposing its strings. Liz no longer sat but instead began with her arms and hands inside the piano, over the keys, and over Greg as he sat.
And then it began. With Liz’s hands muting the keys, the notes bounced like balls around the hall, until one of Liz’s hands snuck onto the keys, then both of her hands. Playing their own arrangement of Astor Piazzolla’s “Libertango,” the two took turns sitting and standing, arms inside the piano, bodies crossing, and the music trapped everyone listening.
When the final sound emerged from them, the audience erupted with applause, as if they had been wanting to clap since it started. “What a sound!” one man said to his companion. The duo stood and bowed, and exited the stage. It was 1:20 PM and they had to be in class to take a test by 2:00.