Master class pianist Dr. Julian Gargiulo helps guide a student on his complicated piece in the Dumke recital hall,Wednesday Feb.3,2016. (Mike Sheehan, Daily Utah Chronicle)

Internationally recognized Italian composer and pianist Julian Gargiulo regularly plays everywhere from the United States to Singapore. On Thursday, Feb. 4, he’ll perform at our very own David Gardner Hall.

But before this master performance, Gargiulo made time on Wednesday to host a Master Class Workshop for the School of Music. Three students performed their pieces in front of an audience, with Gargiulo sitting up front. Once they finished performing, Gargiulo went on stage with them and critiqued their work. But it wasn’t all work and no play. For instance, when one student played a piece intended for a Polish dance, he made up a version of the jig, his curly hair bopping to and fro with every strike of the piano.

Gargiulo said he reenacts pieces like this because he likes to imagine what the music would physically look like, and when he listens to a piece he instantly gets a scene playing in his head.

The Mundi Project, a project that brings performances, instruments and musical education to low-income people in the Salt Lake area, is hosting the event. Representatives at the events said they believed music makes a huge positive difference in people’s lives, which is especially true when a world-renowned pianist gives you first-hand advice.

Toward the end of the master class, Gargiulo opened the floor for questions. When a member of the audience asked what he hopes people gain from his performances, he said he wants people to connect with his music in as many ways possible.

“I want to draw the audience in different ways and make the best experience for them through music,” Garguilo said.

Gargiulo said everyone can access music. When asked what the best time to start playing the piano was, Gargiulo said there wasn’t one.

“You can play whenever you want — there’s no age limit,” Gargiulo said. “When you’re younger, you are more open to try new things, and it depends on where your mind is at.”

While it may be a little tricky to start piano at an older age, he said, people’s minds are very flexible, and anyone can do it.

The main performance will take place Wednesday at the Thomas Chamber Music Hall in David Gardner Hall at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are free with a valid UCard. If you miss the performance, make sure to check out our review on


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