A lot has changed for pianist Abriana Church since she last wowed Longview with her keyboard artistry in 2017. The Idaho native, now 19, moved to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music last fall and then transferred to The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, Calif., to continue her piano studies early this year.
“I’ve been home-schooled my whole life, so I’ve been really discovering myself more as a person being out on my own,” Church said in an interview Tuesday.
This weekend, Church will take a break from her studies in the Golden State to give her third Longview recital. She will perform a demanding program that will feature the works of ﬁve composers.
The performance, which starts at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (1428 22nd Ave.), is free, but freewill donations will be accepted.
“I’ve done concerts in Longview twice, so it’s really special,” she said, adding she has fond memories of meeting people after she plays, including Longview piano teacher Martin Kauble, whose studio is sponsoring Sunday’s recital.
Church will perform works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Sergei Rachmaninov and Robert Schumann. She’s never played two of the pieces in public before:
• The ﬁrst movement of Beethoven’s “Appassionata” Sonata in F minor, Opus 57. One of the most demanding of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas was composed in 1804-05 and is among the famous three of Beethoven’s middle period.
• The “Mephisto Waltz” by Liszt, which is among the most difficult of 19th keyboard compositions. (Kauble played it for his master’s degree recital at Paciﬁc Luthern University in 1986.)
As for the “G major Prelude” by Rachmaninov (Opus 32. No. 5), that was a special request from Kauble, but Church was glad to oblige.
“I never get tired of it, really,” she said. “It’s really angelic … and ethereal. It’s not that long, but it’s just like a little gem, like a perfect little crystal.”
The other compositions on her program are Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C-Sharp Major (BWV 872); the “La Campanella” Paganini etude by Liszt; and songs from “Scenes from Childhood (Opus 15) by Schumann.
Church isn’t sure what the future will hold for her.
“I’ve thought for a while that I would go on and maybe get a doctorate (in piano). I’m not sure if that’ll happen or not (now),” she said. “There’s a good chance I’ll be teaching in the future.”
She plans to study history of piano teaching in the coming semesters, and will get the chance to teach children as part of her studies. And she’s still practicing vigorously, too. Between her courses, spending time with friends and her job at the campus bookstore, Church still ﬁnds time to practice not only piano for three hours a day, but harpsichord as well for about 45 minutes a day.
“Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I don’t want to get out of bed because my arms feel so heavy,” she said with a laugh.
As for this weekend, Church said she hopes her recital can be inspiring and encouraging to those who come to listen to her play.
“Music is such a wonderful gift that God’s given us,” she said. “For me, music can be really uplifting, so I hope that it could be that to somebody else, too.”