Something about the clock strik-
g 12 o'clock on New Year's Eve
ends people into a frenzy of self-
reflection and resolution-making. For
once, everyone decides that it would
be a good idea to try and make prom-
ises about what they are going to do
for the next year.
For days before and days after,
friends and family ask what our plans
for the year are going to be. With
ese questions come pressure to come
p with something deep and mean-
ingful. You notice no one ever says
they are going to be the best slacker
ever or try to piss as many people off
his humanly possible.
Instead we talk about creating
world peace, finding a cure for AIDS,
discovering the meaning of life or
something equally as noble. Or more
likely we just promise to lose weight
and smile more frequently.
Making the resolutions, in and of
itself, is no problem. It is fairly easy to
see what is lacking in our lives and
acknowledge it. But, they aren't as
*asy to fix.
Because I am a senior and won-
dering how to fill the vast abyss which
is the rest of my life, these New Year's
resolutions took on a whole new mean-
ing for me. I never used to make
resolutions for fear of disappointing
myself by not being able to follow
through. However, it seemed like this
year there are a lot of things I want to
and do, so I might as well make
I resolved that I would start trying
to change my slug-like tendencies
and go to the gym on a regular basis.
This is not out of any motivation other
than I have no desire to embarrass
myself on Spring Break this year. The
shores of Key West are calling my
name so when I show up I want to be
At this point in my college career
it seemed logical that I should resolve
to get a job. This is obviously easier
said than done, especially when I want
to do a specific thing in a fairly spe-
cific place. I don't think I am being
unreasonable, I just hope truck driv-
ing is as easy as they say it is.
After being home for Christmas
break, I resolved that I will not be one of
4 hose children who returns to live with
er family until she is old enough to be
a grandmother. How embarrassing
would it be to be the only senior citizen
at the Bingo hall who had to call her
mother in the middle of the game?
Resolution #4 is to decide to be in
a good mood and be in a good mood.
(This is a "Say Anything" reference
which I have always wanted to use in
a column. Successful completion of
resolution #5.) With the stress of life
outside of Ann Arbor ever present,
this semester promises to be one big
mood swing, so hopefully, it will be a
My final official resolution is to
have as much fun as possible this
semester. This includes seeing my
friends regularly, writing this column,
going to Stucchi's often and napping
Regardless of how successful my
resolutions turn out to be, and you
should note that I have not yet gone to
the gym but have been to Stucchi's,
they were important for me to make.
They gave me a chance to think about
what I want for my life. It doesn't
matter that my plans shift every hour
on the hour, at least I have plans.
But the point about resolutions is
at they are worthless unless you
follow through with them. And why
do we only make them on New Year's
Eve? The night when most are filled
with the euphoria of a chance to start
nvpr,~ wit 51n, ,,.r a ,when mn,,v
BY BRIAN WISE
He is considered to be one
of the greatest composers
in history. Yet never in his
short but prodigious lifetime did
Frederic Chopin compose a sym-
phony. Nor did he ever write an opera
or a string quartet. Rather, he was
almost entirely a composer of short
works for the piano. Many pianists
would agree that never before or since
has anyone so perfectly realized the
possibilities of an instrument.
One such pianist is Garrick
Ohlsson. As one of the world's most
celebrated pianists, Ohlsson has cham-
pioned Chopin both on the concert
stage and through numerous record-
ings. Just as few composers could
write piano music like Chopin, few
pianists have found such a rich affili-
ation with the Polish master.
Beginning this Friday at Rackham
Auditorium, he will take this musical
alliance one step further. with the first
of six performances of the complete
solo piano works of Chopin.
This ambitious project.
which will take
place over two
seasons in onlyx
is a natural out-
est in Chopin.
It was his Gold Medal at the 1970
Chopin Competition in Warsaw which
assured his international stature, and
which touched off his association with
Chopin's music in the public eye.
"I entered the Chopin competition
because I was specifically so inter-
ested in him and had developed a real
passion and a real interest in his mu-
sic." Ohlsson explained. "I had a
choice that year of also entering the
Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow
or the Brussels competition, and I
knew that in order to advance my
career I would have to go for one of
He continued, "You can't put all
of your eggs in one basket and say
I've got to win this or else' but I
figured that if I didn't win the compe-
tition I would have spent a lot of time
intensely working on a lot of Chopin.
As it turned out I won the prize and
people began to associate me with
Chopin very much. Therefore I began
to play lots of Chopin, and it became
- not a specialization, because I play
too much other music - but a ma-
This series of recitals co-
incides with another major
project of Ohlsson's. He is
currently in the process of
recording the entire Chopin
cycle for Arabesque Records,
which is being released over
several installments and will
ultimately consist of sixteen
CD's. Volume VI, which is a
two-CD-set of Nocturnes is
scheduled for release early this
recorded the complete Sonatas of
Weber, and his recording of Busoni
Concerto with the Cleveland Orches-
tra under Dohnanyi was Grammy-
nominated as "Best Classical Album
of the Year" in 1990.
In addition to an industrious re-
cording career, Ohlsson is a versatile
concert pianist. The 1993-94 season
was distinguished by engagements
with such world-class ensembles as
the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the
Saint Louis, San Francisco. Berlin
Radio, and Baltimore Symphonies,
among others. Recitals and chamber
performances also constitute a major
part of his career, and his achieve-
ments as a soloist were recently hon-
ored when he was awarded the 1994
Avery Fisher Prize.
Ohlsson's active concerto reper-
toire consists of about 70 works, from
the classical tradition of Haydn and
Beethoven to modern works by Ravel,
Bartok and Barber. Incidentally, he
will not be performing Chopin's two
piano concertos during the cycle, for
the obvious and justifiable reason that
an orchestra is needed.
Nevertheless, the composer
deemed as "the poet of the piano" has
provided Ohlsson with an extensive
body of work.
"For people that follow the cycle
closely," suggested Ohlsson, "one of
the richest aspects will be to see just
how great (Chopin's) range is. Even
though Chopin wrote such gorgeous
and beloved music, he also wrote quite
a handful of enigmatic and demonic
and strange pieces, too - ones that
people are often not as familiar with."
See CHOPIN, Page 8
An Epic Series
The Complete Piano Music of
Frederic Chopin, Part I
Friday, January 13 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 12 4:00 p.m.
Friday, March 31 8:00 p.m.
For ticket information, call the University Musical
Society box office at 764-2538.
Preceding tonight's performance, Roland J. Wiley,