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Norwegian pianist visits Pomona

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Veronica Sepulveda
Staff Writer

All the way from Norway, for one night only, the talented pianist Annabel Guaita performed Saturday at the Bridges Hall of Music at Pomona College.

With 120 people in attendance, the hall was filled with classical music fans, listening intently to the enchanting music of Norway.

“The performance was interesting and impressing,” Moira Dietrich, a local resident, said. “Her feeling comes through when she is playing; her pauses are good and dramatic.”

Guaita plays her music with such passion that you can see her love for the music as she gently strokes the piano keys.

Guaita is very fluid in her movements on the piano; even the way she seems to exaggerate her arms tells the audience she is enthralled in her music.

Guaita’s performance included the music of Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern and Fartein Valen.

In her third piece Guaita told the story behind Valen’s composition, Intermezzo (1939-40).

The piece was about Valen looking out of his window and seeing an albino bird singing on a branch under a rainbow with war trucks in the background.

Valen’s inspiration for this piece was brought on by the thought that there could be life and happiness after war.

After Guaita gave the background on the Valen’s piece, she performed it with such emotion that the audience was able to understand why Guaita is so passionate about the music she plays.

“What I play inspires me,” Guaita said.

Guaita has been playing the piano for many years.

Her interest began when she was 15 and her fascination for music has only grown with time.

“My mother signed me up (for piano lessons) at a young age,” Guaita said. “It was a need of having something for yourself.”

“Piano is a good friend to have,” Guaita said.

For the last song of the first half, associate professor of music at Pomona College, Alfred Cramer, accompanied Guaita with violin in an amazing rendition of Webern’s “Four Pieces For Violin and Piano.”

Before performing, Cramer gave a humor filled speech on the background of the piece and its composer.

The performance was eloquent and the audience seemed enthralled with every note.

This was the first time the two had performed together.

“We worked together intellectually, and getting to play together was pretty simple,” Cramer said. “It seemed natural.”

Guiata has performed music written by a variety of composers.

Although she likes them all, her greatest inspiration has always been her collaborative partners.

Guiata has collaborated with several important Norwegian musicians and contemporary composers such as Ketil Hvoslef, Knut Vaage and Arvid Gangso.

“When you are allowed to play with others the inspiration just comes,” Guaita said.

Guiata ended her performance with a powerful rendition of Valen’s, “Variations For Piano.”

“I admire the ability that people play that type of music,” Arthur De La Barra, a local resident, said. “Whether you like it or not you have to admire the ability.”

Veronica Sepulveda can be reached at

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