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Piano to Forte – Jacobs’ International Music Scene

By Jana Eckei (Germany); Class of 2014 – International Politics and History

Once a year, students of Jacobs University Bremen show off their musical talent for a good cause. Students from all around the world, usually busy with their classes in fields such as Electrical Engineering, Physics, Politics, Economics, Psychology and Biology, come together to showcase their musical talents.

Click this image to check out videos of all the performances

Piano to Forte is an annual charity concert organized by students. The concert is the largest musical event on campus with many external guests. This year the cinema, which has a capacity of around 450 seats, was completely sold out a few days after tickets went on sale. Host families, parents, neighbors, fellow students, friends and for the first time this year; special guests, visiting from the University of Cambridge in England, wanted to be part of this unique experience. Click on the photo to watch videos of the various performances.

This year the concert was dedicated to the Music Lab project. The students together with the University Arts director René Wells hope to create a place where musicians can try new things, practice, develop and perform; where instruments, rehearsal rooms and recording studios are provided to enable musical creativity to flourish and allow people to experience the unifying power of music across cultures and languages.

And indeed Piano to Forte took the audience on a journey through the musical landscape, from rock to opera, African gospel to breathtaking instrumentals, it was hard to pick one’s favorite performance.

Tianmi, a first year Applied and Computational Mathematics student from China, had an outstanding performance with his Erhu, a traditional Chinese instrument. The Erhu is a two-string violin whose bow goes in between the strings. With his exotic performance, he shared with us not only this beautiful melody and musical talent, but also a piece of Chinese tradition. This is what Jacobs University is all about! Curious? Check out the video of ‘Chrysanthemum Terrace’ to see Tianmi perform.

Pranta, a friend of mine from Bangladesh with her truly international band, consisting of a German pianist and violinist, Nepali and Indian guitarists and a Mexican drummer, performed a Bengali love song. The tunes where once more new and so magical to me that they took me away to another world – a Bengali dream! For an impression, check out the video here.

The “Global Leaders” band rocked the house with its own composition called “Let it loose”. The band members are looking forward to better music facilities once the Music Lab is complete and expressed interest in recording their first single so we can take them homeJ. Rock with us – make sure you see the video of their performance.

Have you not had enough? You might also want to check out and enjoy the beautiful harmonies of the African Choir – Mzuka – performing a South African song called Hlonolofatsa. I hope I could share a piece of the cultural and musical diversity that Piano to Forte offered to all of us in the audience. It was indeed an unforgettable evening!

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