Skip to main content

Recitals and gatherings at CMPI will be virtual through January, and possibly through the end of the school year. A year ago, the suggestion of a virtual recital would have garnered some strange looks – or at least some serious questions about how the e-gathering would even work. Now, across Chicago and around the world, musicians have quickly become well-versed in not just how virtual recitals work, but what makes them successful.

CMPI is fortunate to have such young and creative fellows. Not only does it make a socially-distanced-world easier to navigate, but it offers yet another chance for the fellows to flex their creative muscles.

Every month this year, CMPI will present a virtual concert. This includes a day of pre-recording the recital repertoire—masked and distanced from the pianist—at a local performance venue. This year’s venues include: Buntrock Hall in Symphony Center, the Beverly Arts Center, Gannon Hall at DePaul University, and Curtiss Hall in the Fine Arts Building. The other date is a viewing party where the YouTube playlist is released and CMPI fellows and families all around Chicagoland can cozy-up around their Zoom screens to hear their amazing peers. It is very uplifting to hear the fellows play…and it always ends with a dance party. I had the chance to check in on some of our upcoming October recital performers to see how their preparation is going and talk to them about how the pandemic is affecting them. Here’s what they had to say:

What advice would you have for a student who does not have a lot of experience making video recordings at home?

“Making video recordings, whether at home or on site, is always very difficult, and can be very different from a live performance. In recordings, you don’t have an audience to feed off of, and any mistakes you make will be very noticeable. For recording at home, having an external microphone can make a big difference in the quality of recordings that you make, since they can really show the true sound and dynamic range of your playing. Also, setting up your recording space can help tremendously — a clean background, like a white sheet, and good lighting can definitely make your recording look more professional. In terms of your playing, try to practice playing through your piece and practicing for longer sessions — recording takes as much endurance as you have.”

Sameer Agrawal, sophomore
Violin Sonata No. 2, Obsession (Prelude) | Eugene Ysaÿe

What do you miss most about live performance?

“Something that I miss about live performing is playing with others. I miss making music with other musicians in the same room, in ensembles, and learning great things from each and every one of them. I also miss rehearsing and performing in different spaces and venues since it’s really nice to be able to play elsewhere besides your basement or room at home.”

Rafael Noriega, senior
Concerto in One Movement | Alexander Lebedev

What has been the silver lining of the pandemic situation for you?

As hard as the pandemic has been, I’m grateful that I get to spend more time with my family. I now get to take my dog on a walk every single day, and eat dinner with my family every night, both things I never did before the pandemic. I’ve also had the opportunity to start volunteering by teaching lessons via Zoom!

Olivia Molina, senior
Partita No. 3 in E Major (Rondeau) | JS Bach

CMPI junior oboe fellow Adriana Koch has already incorporated some of the lessons she learned from Titus Underwood at a CMPI masterclass held on October 7. Here she is practicing an excerpt from Vaughan Williams’ famed Oboe Concerto — recorded with a drone!

Adriana Koch, junior
Oboe Concerto | Vaughan Williams

What do you miss most about live performance?

What I miss most about live performance is having an audience. Music is all about communicating ideas, and it’s much easier to communicate ideas directly to other people in the room, rather than through my iPhone7 camera. I also feel like I just play better when I’m performing for a live audience.

Zachary Allen, sophomore
Incantation and Dance, 
William Grant Still

CMPI Virtual Recital
Release Date: Friday, October 23 at 6 pm


  • Olivia Molina – Partita No. 3 in E Major (Rondeau) | J.S. Bach
  • Adriana Koch – Oboe Concerto | Vaughan Williams
  • Ixchel Camacho – Concerto No. 1 | Max Bruch
  • Rafael Noriega – Concerto in One Movement | A. Lebedev
  • Noelle Streuber Eden – Romance in F | Beethoven
  • Jan Vargas Nedvetsky – Cello Concerto No. 1 Haydn
  • Jan Vargas Nedvetsky – O Canto de Cisne Negre | Villa–Lobos
  • Xavier Perry – Cello Concerto No. 1 Saint-Saens
  • Andrew Pahadi – Sonata No. 1 | F. Poulenc
  • Ella Saputra – Sonata in C Minor Beethoven
  • Ella Saputra – String Poetic: Climb Jagged | J. Higdon
  • Melissa Everson – Liquid Ebony No. 3 | D. Wilson
  • Sameer Agrawal – Violin Sonata No. 2, Obsession (Prelude) | E. Ysaÿe
  • Zachary Allen – Incantation and Dance | W. Grant Still

Are you interested in joining CMPI’s next cohort?

Apply Today!