Collective Listening Project

Creative Reactions Contest Winners Select

Playlist No. 12

About the Playlist

May 21, 2020
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The six student winners of this year’s Creative Reactions Contest shared the tracks that they have been listening to while quarantining or the music that means the most to them. The contest is dedicated to the memory of Vera Sharpe Kohn, a loyal member of the Princeton University Concerts Committee, whose support and enthusiasm contributed to the health and well being of Princeton University Concerts. The playlist concludes with J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor, a piece that Vera thought was the most perfect piece of music ever written.


Alyssa Cai (First Place Winner)

FRANCISCO TÁRREGA Recuerdos de la Alhambra

“My father learned this song on the guitar a few years ago after a family trip together to Spain where we were able to visit the Alhambra. It was the last time our whole family was able to take a big trip together since I went off to college and everything got busier. Now, being at home with family, we’re able to spend more time together, and this piece reminds me of the travels we had together.”


Nazdar Rosna Ayzit (Honorable Mention Winner)

DARIO MARINELLI Dawn, performed by Jean-Yves Thibaudet, from the Pride and Prejudice (2005) movie soundtrack

“This song has a very dear place in my heart. Although it is brief, merely two minutes long, it is one of the most narrative and romantic compositions of instrumental music that I have ever heard. I am grateful that quarantine could not take away the joy of listening to it, thanks to the music getting renown with the beautiful movie and taking its place among YouTube’s gems early on.”

ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER Selections from The Phantom of the Opera

“This recommendation is quite a contrast to Dawn in its mood but is similarly cherished in my memories: The Phantom of the Opera is one of the few world-famous musicals to perform in Istanbul. Getting to see it live was positively transformative, expanding my horizon on the stories that music can transmit. Years later, ironically stuck in coronavirus quarantine, I had the chance of watching The Phantom of the Opera on YouTube through “The Show Must Go On!” This is another reason that I am sharing this song, to mention this channel: you have to visit if you haven’t already. This channel posts full-length, high-quality recordings of the most famous musicals every Friday as a contribution to alleviate our lack of real-life theatrical experience during these times.”


Eliana Gagnon (Honorable Mention Winner)

FELIX MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64


Sam Melton (Honorable Mention Winner)

GIUSEPPE VERDI Dies Irae from Requiem

“I realize it’s pretty dark to choose a Requiem Mass during this time, but this piece really feels like I’m stepping back to get an awesome perspective on the world, which is nice when I’m trapped in my house working on finals.”


Helen So (Honorable Mention Winner)

FREDERIC CHOPIN Ballade in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 1

“This music means the most to me—It was the last piece that I performed in recital, and it was also featured in the emotional climax of my favorite show, Your Lie in April.”

Nocturne in D-flat Major, Op. 27, No. 2

“One of my favorite nocturnes. It can get uncomfortable, but it’s truly an experience to listen to.”


Sandy Yang (Honorable Mention Winner)

Nocturne in B-flat Minor, Op. 9, No. 1

“This is one of my all-time favorite pieces, and I think especially being home now, I’ve been playing it and listening to it a lot. The music itself is incredibly beautiful and comforting, although to be honest, I think it’s very much a matter of personal nostalgia—it reminds me of simpler times and of home.”


“This isn’t a classical piece, but I also find it comforting, and I love that it’s in reference to Galileo—it isn’t very often you find pieces on scientific history that you can relate to.”

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