Acclaimed pianist to perform at BJU

Snapshot: Karalee Searles
September 27, 2014
Column: Sidewalks
October 3, 2014

Acclaimed pianist to perform at BJU

Pianist Emile Pandolfi is known for his comedic style. Photo: Submitted

Emile Pandolfi has played all over the world, from recording with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra in the Czech Republic to performing with 83 of the world’s finest pianists at the opening ceremony of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. And, on Friday, Oct. 17, you have a chance to hear him live as WBJU IQ Radio hosts Pandolfi for concert in Rodeheaver Auditorium at 8 p.m.

Pandolfi has been playing piano since he was 5 years old. He studied at Furman University in Greenville and at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, before making piano his profession at the age of 25. Since then, he has spent his life touring the United States and the world, delighting audiences with his colorful playing tied together with his relaxed, comedic commentary on music and life.

Last March the staff of WBJU IQ Radio was brainstorming ways of promoting the online radio station. Dr. Heidi Campbell, IQ Radio’s general manager, suggested contacting Pandolfi, who lives in Greenville and has played on campus several times before. Joel Whited, a junior journalism and mass communication major who works as the station manager, approached Campbell with ideas for the concert and, that very day, she ran into Pandolfi at Publix.

“The timing of it all really has been providential,” Campbell said. Not only was the campus calendar clear, but the concert is also one of only two arts events in all of Greenville that night. And the public is certainly welcome to attend.

Pandolfi’s concerts are slightly different from normal piano concerts. Playing mostly Broadway hits, movie themes and original compositions, he hopes audience members feel as if they are gathered around his living room listening to their favorite music.

“Most concerts play beautiful music to a musically educated audience. I want to play to people who want to sit back and relax.”

The goal of the concert is twofold. First, Campbell hopes to raise awareness of IQ Radio, a “commercial-free, encouraging online radio station that is perfect for study breaks,” and to increase listeners. Second, Pandolfi hopes his music will elicit an emotional reaction within the students. “I want the students to hear beautiful music played with intensity,” he said. “Emotion is the universal language, and music is a vehicle for that.”

Concert tickets can be purchased online or through Programs & Productions at $20 for general admission and $10 for BJU students.