Enjoying a chance to see our gifted church pianist in another venue — showing off her classical chops

Kay and I were treated to a very special evening of music Saturday. I’ve bragged about this amazing pianist here before, having marveled at the gifts she brings to our congregation each Sunday at The Welcome Table Christian Church near our home in SW Arlington. I’ve seen online videos of her displaying the classical training that began in her native Colombia and continued when she came to the United States to build on her piano pedigree.

But this was the first time I’ve had the chance to see Claudia Fuenmayor perform classical music in person, as she teamed up with violinist Bernhard Kainerstorfer on sonatas by J.S. Bach and Mozart, and an entertaining waltz by Robert Stolz, in a wonderful chamber music recital at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Waxahachie.

The church had great acoustics to accent the talents of these two outstanding musicians. Of course, as a friend, fellow church family member and sometimes piano player, I’m biased toward Claudia. I found her interpretations of the three pieces to be flawless, but what do I know? 😁

Claudia played the selections beautifully with a heavy and mournful heart. Lucía Mora Basadre, her beloved longtime piano teacher/mentor in Cali, Colombia, passed away April 9 at the age of 63. Lucía was Claudia’s instructor for more than a decade, and she says she owes her opportunity of a lifetime to play the piano to Lucía.

After taking up piano at the tender age of 8, Claudia went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Instituto Departamental de Bellas Artes in Cali, where she also received her high school music diploma. She has two master’s degrees in piano — one in performance from UT-Arlington and one in pedagogy from TCU. Claudia also has a piano instruction business, where she teaches young students just as her cherished mentor did for decades.

I’m very proud of Claudia for playing so superbly through her grief for us all Saturday night. She was also performing for Lucía, who I know was watching with pride and love from heaven.

I recorded video of the recital with my phone, but this is much better because you can see the musicians up close (especially Claudia’s flying fingers) — a link to Claudia’s YouTube channel video. The first piece is the Bach, then the Mozart, then the waltz. Please listen, be impressed and enjoy! 😊 🎹 🎼

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