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Famed Italian pianist exposes Vicenza students to classical music

Italian pianist Davide Franceschetti performs for Vicenza Elementary School students Feb. 8, 2013, in an abbreviated concert on base. Franceschetti, 36, has been playing since the age of 5 and has performed at venues around the globe. He said he hoped to give students "a love of classical music."

VICENZA, Italy — For an award winning pianist, rousing applause upon taking the stage followed by a reverent hush as he starts to play is perhaps to be expected — but from an audience of schoolchildren?

Students at Vicenza Elementary and Middle Schools were treated to successive piano recitals Friday by Davide Franceschetti, who performed works by Debussy, Gershwin and Chopin.

Franceschetti, 36, who has performed at festivals and with symphony orchestras across Europe and the United States, said he agreed to play at the schools because he loves to teach.

“Coming to a school and playing for kids this young is something I’ve never done before,” Franceschetti said. “I hope the kids can take away a love for classical music and the experience they received today.”

“I’m worried that the classical music audience is dwindling,” Franceschetti said. “I believe it’s important for kids to take today’s experience home and help broaden the classical music audience and themselves.”

Among the young audience was at least one aspiring musician: Eight-year-old Chaira Barnes’ fingers played the auditorium table as if it were a Steinway.

Following the concert, Franceschetti visited the middle school’s piano lab.

“This event is to give students the opportunity to be inspired and dream to do something great,” said music teacher Angie Hartwig. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to see a master at his skill.”

duhrj@estripes.osd.mil

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