Professor performs 1st recital as faculty

Mercury Bowen, Entertainment Reporter

Piano professor Victor Cayres performed his first piano recital as an Eastern faculty member Wednesday evening in the Recital Hall at the Doudna Fine Arts Center.

One unique feature of Cayres’s performance was that he performed works by Frédéric Chopin combined without pause with works by Brazilian composers Camargo Guarnieri, Leopoldo Miguez, Francisco Mignone, Claudio Santoro and Villa Lobos.

Cayres joined the Eastern faculty in August, and according to Shellie Gregorich, the chair of the Music Department, he was the faculty board’s top-ranked candidate.

“We really admired his performing ability,” Gregorich said. “(He had) a really high level of performance. His teaching was also really excellent, and I think we could tell that he had a really good ear and was able to articulate clearly to the students really what to listen for, allowing them to increase their own critical approach to their own performance.”

In the short time he has been at Eastern, Cayres said he has grown to love his position.

“I think this is the coolest school I ever worked and attended,” Cayres said. “The environment, the atmosphere is extremely warm, friendly and also busy. I have not a single moment of rest here, which is what I like. I would say there is never a dull moment.”

Cayres also described his students as engaging, polite and hardworking.

“By (the students’) own way of being, it inspires me to always work hard and do better,” Cayres said. “Sometimes you teach a lazy student and you don’t feel motivated, but here I haven’t had any case like that.”

Originally from Brazil, Cayres has earned praise for concerts with the Sine Nomine string quartet and as a soloist with orchestras like the Boston Pops and Brno Philharmonic in the Czech Republic as well as releasing several CDs.

Having frequently performed at venues in Brazil and Europe, Cayres has also performed at several venues of high esteem nationwide including Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s Preston Bradley Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall.

For all his achievements however, Cayres said his proudest accomplishment was his son.

“I mean I have won competitions,” Cayres said. “I have done recitals all over, but in the end, if you are well with your family and friends, I think that’s a good thing to be proud of, especially these days.”

According to Cayres, family was a major factor in his path to music.

“Thanks to them I get to be focused on what I love to do,” Cayres said. “I wouldn’t be doing music if my family was not supportive.”

Cayres came to Eastern from Boston, where he said his family still lives.

“My wife came already to visit,” Cayres said. “So far that’s the arrangement, but we’ll have to obviously change that soon, because that’s taxing for all of us.”

While Cayres said he was passionate about music from childhood, he did not start producing it as early as some people do.

“There was always music in the house,” Cayres said. “I always felt connected to it, but I wouldn’t start playing piano until about 13. Once I started I didn’t practice much, but I was always at the piano just playing and reading music. Serious practice came later in college.”

Cayres said one of the things he felt when he performed was the importance of controlling his own emotions.

“Some pieces are very emotionally charged,” Cayres said. “You cannot yourself be so emotionally charged that you cannot play, so you have to make sure the audience is getting the picture without you being drowned by it.”

According to Cayres, his most rewarding times were when he achieved a moment when everyone was listening and feeling something.

“It doesn’t happen every recital,” Cayres said. “It doesn’t happen with every audience, but it’s like a triangle shape. There’s you playing, there’s the audience listening, then there’s another point of meeting when we all become engaged in the music making even though I’m the one playing.”

Mercury Bowen can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].