By Wendy Brown
U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Public Affairs Office
Call her the Bela Karolyi of Wiesbaden piano teachers.
Just as high-powered Romanian gymnastics coach Karolyi assured success to American gymnasts such as Mary Lou Retton in the 1980s, Georgiana Teohari-Vidican — a native of Romania — is assuring success to her American piano students in Wiesbaden.
After Brianna and Tori Brouse, 10 and 7 respectively, did exceptionally well during a recital in Munich last summer, Teohari-Vidican asked the girls if they would like to give a recital in her hometown of Arad, Romania. They accepted, and traveled from their home in Aukamm Housing to the city in western Romania in December.
“I was very excited,” said Tori. “I got to play in a new place with new people in a place where there is snow.”
Teohari-Vidican said she was proud of how well the girls played, and so was everyone at the recital who saw them perform. “The Romanian public is very picky. They are used to having very good artists performing. It was the first time I said yes to doing this,” she said.
Teohari-Vidican’s husband, who is also Romanian, was a member of the U.S. Army, and he now works as a civilian in the military community. She began teaching American children in Mannheim, and as members of the 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment, and other units moved from Mannheim and Heidelberg to Wiesbaden, she began commuting to Wiesbaden to teach them here. Tori and Brianna’s father, Lt. Col. Edwin Brouse, commands the battalion.
Lisa Brouse, the girls’ mother, said she played piano as a girl and started teaching Tori and Brianna herself, but they have surpassed her ability to play piano. She wanted to give the girls a unique European experience when they came to Germany, and she is extremely happy they had a chance to perform in Romania.
“She has a love for music,” said Brouse of Teohari-Vidican. “She wants to give that passion to her students, and it shows.”
Brianna said one of the reasons she enjoys playing the piano is because it gives her a chance to express herself, and in a video of the girls’ Romanian performance that comes across perfectly. Both girls played not just one or two fairly complicated songs with grace and poise, but several.
Brianna said her favorite song to play is Johann Pachelbel’s “Canon in D,” and she hopes to be able to play Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” well someday. Her favorite composer is Bach. Tori, on the other hand, likes to play “Für Elise” by Beethoven and her favorite composer is Sergei Prokofiev.
“Prokofiev expresses how I’m very happy to play the piano,” Tori said.
When it comes to teaching children how to play piano, it would be difficult to find a more qualified teacher.
Teohari-Vidican, who lives in Mannheim with her husband, performed her first solo — Joseph Haydn’s Piano Concert in D Major — with the Arad Philharmonic Orchestra at age 8.
In 2003 she graduated with the highest grade from West University of Timisoara, where she earned a bachelor’s degree as a concert pianist. In 2007 she graduated from the Hochschule fur Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim with a post-graduate degree in chamber music for pianists.
In the meantime, Teohari-Vidican has performed all over the world, including New York City and Los Angeles, and received several prizes at competitions in Romania, Germany, Hungary and Italy. Now 33, she began teaching at the age of 19 at the Sabin Dragoi School of Arts in Arad, which is where the girls gave their performance.
Brianna and Tori plan to perform in Wiesbaden with more of Teohari-Vidican’s students during a recital this May at the Hainerberg Chapel. The exact date has not been set yet.
Teohari-Vidican plans to start teaching piano through the Wiesbaden Child, Youth and School Services’ SKIES program in March, and people can contact the program at mil 335-5269 or civ (0611) 4080-269.