French Pianist Performs Mozart In Little Elm
A private concert was given in Little Elm last Saturday by world-renown French pianist, Francis Vidil, the first and only contestant to have won both first prizes in improvisation at the World Federation of International Music Competition.
Sponsored by the Versailles French Class, Vidil gave a performance of Mozart and baroque improvisation on piano to a small group comprised mostly of French language students. The Versailles French Class President, Marie-Pierre Ware, who was childhood friends with Vidil, invited him to give a private concert for her students and those interested.
“He has music in his head all the time,” Ware said.
Both studied at the Versailles Conservatory in France, where Vidil is the dean of the polyphonic department, tenure piano professor and tenure improvisation professor. Vidil, who performs weekly, has given about 1,200 concerts in France and abroad, including at several well-known festivals and cathedrals such as Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris.
He is also the only known performer in the world who can play both the organ and the trumpet simultaneously.
“A musician has to give up himself,” Vidil said. “Music [must be] made not for himself, but for the people who will listen to him. That’s a great way to communicate with the world.”
Vidil performed Mozart’s “Fantasy” in C Minor, “Sonata Facilo” and improvisations in between, even including hints of “The Star Spangled Banner” mixed into the performance.
“I will improvise, but I will try to improvise with Mozart’s style,” Vidil said before his performance.
He described playing Mozart as having simple notes, but also as strong and valiant.
“When I teach my pupils, I want them to touch Mozart with energy,” Vidil said. “For me, Mozart is like the blue sky. Nothing is more simple than the blue sky, but we need it.”
A native speaker, Ware teaches French through private and semi-private classes to those in the Metroplex area. She also teaches a class at the Little Elm Recreation Center.
“It’s a way to meet people with similar interests,” said Tatiana Nduta, a student attending the concert.
Jessica Richardson, another student who met Nduta through the classes, said the spelling of the French language was rough. Richardson took French 15 years ago but decided to take classes again.