Jorge Abreu Toyens, a fifth-year music major from Humacao, Puerto Rico, will present his senior violin recital on Dec. 9.
This recital is not only one of Toyens’ last requirements as a music major, but also one of his last requirements before traveling to Barcelona for graduate school in February.
Toyens was accepted at the renowned “Escola de Musica de Catalunya,” his first-choice graduate school, without even presenting a formal audition.
In July 2014, Toyens was attending a music festival in Spain when he met someone who knew a professor from the Escola de Musica. After the festival, Toyens decided to take a class with this professor.
He played for her in class to receive feedback and, to his complete surprise, was invited to submit an application to the school and forego the usual audition process.
“In that school of music, the professor is the one who accepts the students,” explained Toyens. “I think that was the audition and I didn’t know it.”
Toyens made a similar personal connection when he met Solomia Soroka, his current violin instructor and GC professor of music, at a college fair.
At the time, Toyens was interested in studying in the U.S. and was able to visit and take a few lessons with Soroka. Together they attended different music festivals such as the Schlern In-ternational Music Festival in Italy, where Toyens was able to attend master classes and hear the work of famous musicians.
Following his travels, Toyens studied at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music for two years before transferring to Goshen College to work under Soroka.
Toyens has spent over two years of studying violin with Soroka, and recognizes the impact she has had on developing him as an artist and preparing him for his upcoming senior recital.
For his recital, Toyens will present three pieces: “Mozart Sonata No. 21 in E Minor,” the first movement of the “Symphonie espagnole” by Edouard Lalo, and the “Franck Violin Sonata” by César Franck.
Toyens’ favorite piece, the “Franck Violin Sonata,” was written by the composer in the last decade of his life. According to Toyens, the piece is romantic, self-reflective and exhibits a great deal of maturity.
“I think it’s the most intense music I’ve ever played solo,” said Toyens.
Toyens added that he loves playing the sonata with Christine Seitz, the college’s piano ac-companist, because she adds a type of maturity to the piece that any student could not.
Although Puerto Rico is nearly two thousand miles from Goshen, Toyens’ father will be present for the recital.
“It’s been a long time since he’s been in snow,” said Toyens. “Maybe he’ll like the snow.”
As to whether or not Toyens will return to Goshen and the snow in the near future, he isn’t sure. He knows that he will want to come back to visit, but tries not to think too far in the future and instead focuses on one day at a time.
“I try to stay single-minded…and present and aware,” said Toyens. “Most of my life until now has happened so fast with moving to Barcelona and Goshen. When a recital comes, it comes. And the day of moving from Goshen will come, but today is not the day to worry about that.”
Toyens’ senior violin recital will be presented on December 9 at 5:30 p.m. in Rieth Recital Hall. He will be accompanied on piano by Christine Seitz. The event is free and open to the public.