A Community of Music Enthusiasts
Resident Wanda Paik’s Musical Journey
Regular live music performances are one of the joys of living at The Commons, and many of the residents have impressive musical backgrounds themselves. One such resident is Wanda Paik, who recently gave a successful concert in the Great Room.
Wanda’s musical journey began at a young age when her mother brought home a small pump organ for her to play. By the time she was seven, she had discovered the piano and was enrolled as a student in the prep school of the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. Wanda went on to receive a full scholarship at Northwestern University, where she earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance.
From Classical to Adventurous Repertoire
Wanda’s piano repertoire initially consisted of music by standard composers, such as Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Mozart, Grieg and Mendelssohn. However, performing Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia, Op. 80, with the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra was one of the most important events in her musical life. Wanda shared that the composition’s “overwhelming depths and emotional heights made me aware of a new and personal gateway into feelings that have bonded me to music in ways that have stayed with me ever since.”
Wanda eventually felt the need to branch out into a more adventurous repertoire. She learned the Concerto in F by George Gershwin, which she performed with Arthur Fiedler conducting the Boston Pops. Wanda studied Burlesque by Richard Strauss, which she performed with Erich Kunzel conducting. In addition, she learned and performed the Concerto in E flat by British composer John Gherman and Sergie Rachmaninoff’s Concerto in C minor.
Wanda’s musical achievements didn’t stop there. She also performed solo at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.; American embassies in Brazil and Trinidad; Yonsei University in South Korea; and many U.S. colleges and universities. She even released two CDs, “Piano Perennials” and “Romantic Classics,” which can be found on Amazon. Individual tracks can also be found on Apple Music and Spotify.
Supporting Local Live Music
Wanda’s love of music is shared by many other residents of The Commons, and because of their example, the community enthusiastically sponsors music-related events for the enjoyment of its residents and others. Recent sponsorships include:
- The Boston Symphony Orchestra.
- The Boston Pops Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular on the Esplanade.
- Lexington Symphony’s spring and fall seasons.
The Commons looks forward to sponsoring more performances and continuing its tradition of making—and enjoying—beautiful music. Keep an eye out for Wanda’s next concert and other exciting music events at The Commons!