Ariel Wang ’21 Combines ‘Non-Standard’ Flute and Piano Repertoire in Senior Recital

As the last note of her flute rang through Cochran Chapel, Ariel Wang ’21 bowed to the sweeping applause of a socially-distanced audience. Exiting the stage, she returned a few minutes later, this time sitting in front of a piano in a green silk dress, and began the first notes of Rachmaninoff Prelude Op. 32, No.5 and No.12.

“My flute half was mostly solo, unaccompanied flute—really modern pieces. Those are actually my favorite to play and I [usually] don’t get a platform to play them. For my piano half, I chose all these pieces from different times of my life that were my favorite to play,” said Wang.

Wang’s senior recital, which took place Wednesday evening, invited the Andover community to listen to her dual flute and piano performance. According to Wang, she enjoyed playing less conventional pieces during her recital, as she does not often have the opportunity to perform them.

“These are pretty non-standard, and pieces I really deeply enjoy playing… so it was actually quite a mishmash of [pieces from] different eras in my life, and to finally have somewhere to actually bring them all together was really special,” said Wang.

Holly Barnes, Director of Music Performance and Instructor in Music, when organizing Wang’s senior recital, originally planned for separate recitals for her two instruments. Due to scheduling difficulties, Wang and Barnes decided to hold a combined recital.

“Initially, we had two different recitals. But [for] her piano recital, we couldn’t get the Chapel on that particular day, so she decided ‘you know what, I’ll put them both together. I’ll do both the flute and the piano recital.’ We went back and forth on that, and this is what she decided to do,” said Barnes.

The inclusion of two instruments not only brought about a longer recital, but also strong audience admiration, noted Koki Kapoor ’21. Remarking on her diligence in practicing and polishing her music-making, Kapoor commented on Wang’s multi-expertise in both flute and piano.

“I am in awe of [Wang]. The fact that she could play not one but two instruments so amazingly is honestly mind blowing. She’s such a hard worker, and never know when she’s practicing, but you know she’s practicing, which is the coolest thing about her,” said Kapoor.

Another audience member, Leverett Wilson ’23, described Wang’s performance as “incredible,” and stated he observed that the audience especially enjoyed the recital.

“I really enjoyed listening to the flute and piano piece, and her other flute pieces… She’s just such a talented flautist… it was really incredible, just hearing how much work she put into this,” said Wilson. “I think it was a great audience, and everyone really enjoyed the performances, and everyone was really happy to be here.”

After the performance, friends congregated to congratulate Wang on her performance. Wang voiced her appreciation at seeing her friends amongst the audience members, attending to support her in one of her final performances at Andover.

“When I was up [on] stage, seeing everybody, all of my friends, different friends from all different places, in the pews of the Chapel, come and support me was so heartwarming. Afterwards, getting to see everyone was really heartwarming as well,” said Wang.