September 16, 2022

Making music together

Juilliard pianist Brian Zeger ’74 collaborates with students
by Allyson Irish

What better way for aspiring musicians to learn than by working with professionals? Brian Zeger ’74, a noted collaborative pianist who has performed throughout the United States and around the world, came back on campus this past spring to engage with student vocalists, the chamber music class, the Fidelio Society, and the Academy Chorus.

“It was so inspiring to be at PA to work with students and see some of the positive changes on campus,” says Zeger, who also is the artistic director of the Marcus Vocal Arts Department at The Juilliard School. “My years at PA were huge growth years for me, both intellectually and emotionally.”

After working with some of the advanced music students, Zeger and the young musicians enjoyed a freewheeling conversation over pizza, chatting about potential career paths in music and the performing arts.

“I found that few of them know what role music might play in their lives after high school, so the talk jumped around among all kinds of artistic roles, both on and off stage. These are such early days for them as potential performers, administrators, audience members, or supporters,” Zeger says. “My advice was to stay open and to seek out artistic communities wherever you find them—or create them where you see the need. The warm spirit of collaboration I felt when Fidelio rehearsed with Dr. Siegfried [music department chair] convinced me that music would stay in these students’ lives.”

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Photo above: Patricia Tran '24; Karen Wang '24; Ellie Co '23; Holly Barnes, director of chamber music; Jasmine Ma '23; and Brian Zeger '74.

Top photo by Jared Slater

Categories: Alumni, Magazine, Magazine Online

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