Review: Natalia Suriano Graduate Recital at MSM

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suriano-concert-crop2Natalia Suriano is one of a small group of stellar young Argentine pianists who are protégés of Mirian Conti, the New York piano performer, recording artist and educator. Ms. Conti has organized a program of musical competitions in Argentina designed to identify fledgling pianists with the talent to gain admission to, and thrive at, the most competitive musical institutions in the United States. Ms. Suriano’s solo graduate recital was one of the steps on her way to her Master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music, and to Ms. Conti’s long-term vision of enriching Argentine piano artistry. Continue reading

Fealty Check: The Innovative Programming of Pianist Frederic Chiu

Pianist Frederic ChiuFrederic Chiu spoke with PIANYC. Below are major excerpts of the phone conversation, which took place on Labor Day, Monday, September 5, 2016, just a few days prior to his performance at the DiMenna center. The order is changed of some of the topics we discussed.

He has named the performance format Classical Smackdown, where he pits one composer against another, and gathers live input from the audience about their reaction, publishing the results on a web page. What was his motivation for starting the Classical Smackdown series? Continue reading

Whistling into the Graveyard: Christina and Michelle Naughton at the Crypt Sessions


Corridor near the entrance to the crypt, Church of the Intercession

The choice of venue of last night’s performance was at once a stroke of genius and in hindsight obvious, so perfect was the combination of concepts brought into focus during its brief interval, in the crypt of the Church of the Intercession in Sugar Hill. The event showcased the talents of Christina and Michelle Naughton, the twin sisters performing Olivier Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen for two pianos, in their final appearance in their planned 2015-2016 season. Continue reading