David Potvin used to sit, look up and soak in the music of pianists who’d play the grand piano inside Acadia University’s K.C. Irving building.
And now, he’s playing the same keys they did.
Potvin has moved from his childhood home on a Billtown farm to the big city to pursue a doctorate in piano performance at the University of Toronto. He will be coming full circle with a recital March 17 at his alma mater in Wolfville, where he’ll perform as part of the Acadia Alumni Association’s ongoing Sunday Music in the Garden Room series.
“I remember looking up to the musicians they brought during my undergrad – there are so many good musicians in this series, so to be on the same level is an honour,” he says.
Potvin says he’s designed his recital to transport the audience from eighteenth-century Spain to twentieth-century Claude Debussy and also showcase a little-known Québécois composer, Jacques Hétu.
He will also play a selection of Ricardo Viñes, whose work he is studying at school.
And he says these studies have unearthed a surprising connection – that Viñes was Debussy’s main pianist.
“I’m very excited to play Hétu for everyone because I don’t know of anyone who has played his pieces in Canada. I think hearing that will be a real treat,” he says.
Potvin will also play works from the man considered the world’s first-ever rock star, Franz Liszt, and says this will be the most emotional piece and showcase a wide range of motion.
He has performed six shows in Nova Scotia since graduating from Acadia, he and continues making a point of traveling to Nova Scotia because this was where it all began for him.
“There’s a sense of coming home despite my parents having moved away. It’s really nice, and it’s something I always look forward to when I play here,” says Potvin.
Potvin’s show is set for March 17 at 2 p.m. at Acadia University’s K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre. For more information, visit Potvin’s Facebook page.