BLOOMINGTON, IN—An undergraduate pianist at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music missed a bunch of notes in his recital yesterday evening, according to the pianist.
Jeremy Hayes, a bachelor’s of music candidate in piano performance, was in the middle of his graduation recital when all of a sudden he just totally messed up, Hayes claimed in a testimonial given shortly after the recital concluded.
Speaking to friends and family who had gathered backstage to congratulate him on what they believed was a wonderful performance, Hayes described in lurid detail that spot in Robert Schumann’s Kreisleriana, Op. 16 where his left hand momentarily lost its place and everything went to shit.
The incident occurred shortly after 8:00 p.m. in Ford-Crawford recital hall on Indiana University Bloomington’s campus during the second half of a 65-minute program also featuring selections by Bach, Beethoven, and Scriabin—which, Hayes reported, went fine and certainly weren’t the disaster that was the Schumann.
“I was a few bars into the first ‘Intermezzo’ of the second movement when I hesitated and had to start the whole section over,” Hayes said to his friend and studio-mate Christine while she was trying to give him a hug and compliment his beautiful playing.
“Oh my god, no. What are you talking about? I was terrible,” Hayes said, challenging Christine’s version of events. “I missed so many notes, I can’t freaking believe it. I never mess up there.”
Several audience members besides Christine also failed to notice Hayes’ embarrassing mistake, leading them to falsely conclude that the recital was a success and the 22-year-old pianist should be proud of his tremendous accomplishment. Most attendees were seated at a considerable distance from the stage and had at best a partial view of Hayes’ hands, while several among them lacked the musical education necessary to have formed a credible judgement of his performance.
Their glowing accounts of Hayes’ recital were directly contradicted by Hayes himself, who was the key eyewitness to the memory slip in the Schumann. Not only did Hayes have a closeup, firsthand view of his own senior recital, he had also been studying his repertoire in depth for several months and had better knowledge of the correct notes than anyone else present in the auditorium.
Hayes’ childhood piano teacher, Ms. Kruger, tears still in her eyes after what she mistakenly experienced as a heartfelt and emotionally moving performance, was apparently unaware of the complete mess her former student made of the whole thing.
“Oh Jeremy, you’ve grown up so much. Your Schumann, especially, shows what a mature artist you’ve become,” Kruger said, echoing the same misguided sentiments expressed by Hayes’ parents and grandparents, before Hayes corrected their naïve and ignorant impressions of his utterly abysmal Kreisleriana.
“I’m a complete failure,” Hayes assured his family, all of whom traveled four hours from Chicago to hear him perform. “I’m sorry you drove all this way to watch me make a complete ass of myself on stage.”
At press time, Hayes had finally built up the courage to listen the recording of his humiliating performance from last night.
“Whoa, I sound way better than I remember,” he thought to himself. “I might be able to use this for competition applications, after all.”