Julian Lawrence Gargiulo
Pianist




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Sacred Heart Concert Series

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Concert at Tillett Gardens, St. Thomas, January 5, 2005

Julian Gargiulo charms his way into hearts at Tillett Gardens
By LYDIA HARRIS, Virgin Islands Daily News


ST. THOMAS - Julian Gargiulo is excited about life. And music. And if you ever get a chance to hear him play live, you will be excited too. Wednesday night's crowd at Tillett Gardens on St. Thomas witnessed the young classical pianist work his magic on the ivories and on the audience. Resounding cheers of "Bravo!" and whoops of joy were heard into the parking lot.

The audience was so exuberant, they broke into applause after the first movement of Beethovanís "Pathetique" Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Julian's first piece. Without chastising the crowd, his response, after finishing of course, was to say with a big smile that normally audiences remain quiet until the entire work is completed; but for a classical musician, having the audience applaud in the middle "is like taking extra money to the bank."

Julian is a young man of passion, charm, humor and exceptional talent. To say nothing of his fresh approach to performing classical music. Unlike most classical musicians, Julian talks to his audience. He tells stories about the composers (not quite discreetly mentioning that Chopin was George Sand's lover after Franz Liszt, for example) and about his own strange and sometimes funny experiences on stage.

An audience favorite, Julian told about the time he was in Germany and a fly kept bugging him as he played. It quite disconcerting ó this is serious music, after all. When he came back from intermission to find the fly sitting on the keys, patiently waiting for the pianistís return ó I told he's charming ó Julian wasted no time killing the annoying creature with a slam and creatively working it into his next selection. The Tillett Gallery concert wasn't the easiest performance Julian has ever done: the lighting technician chose a filter that made the keyboard difficult to see. But as a consummate professional, Julian didn't let it dampen his enthusiasm. And neither did the wind and rain.

Amazingly, Julian got through the first half of the outdoor concert without a drop of rain falling. But as soon as he left the stage for intermission the skies opened up. To his credit, though, no one left. Instead the audience took shelter until Julian returned to the piano bench and, miraculously, the rain stopped.

Could it be that someone else was enjoying the concert?