IMG_3696ABrunilda Myftaraj, violin
(concertmaster of the Orchestra)
Laura Garritson, piano

Concert Series at SS. Cyril and Methodius in Hartford
63 Popieluszko Court, Hartford, CT

Program:
Amy Beach- Romance
Leonard Bernstein (Arr: Raimundo Penaforte)
Suite from the West Side Story:
I feel Pretty, Somewhere, America
Charles E. Ives
Violin sonata NO. 4 (Children’s Day at the Camp meeting)
George Gershwin / Jasha Heifetz- five selections from “Porgy and Bess”
George Gershwin / Jasha Heifetz- An American in Paris

Although the duo is a new group, the two have known each other for many years and attended the Hartt School of Music together. They have an amazing chemistry and common understanding of musical phrasing.

“The American Pie” is their first project together as a piano & violin duo. Myftaraj | Garritson, duo will also be performing the Mendelssohn concerto for Violin, piano and orchestra in October 2016 with one of the leading orchestras in Connecticut – The CT Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. The mission of the duo is to excite and educate audiences with their presentations of a diverse choice of classical music programming.

About the Artist

Albanian-American violinist Brunilda Myftaraj has drawn enthusiastic accolades from audience as well as critical acclaim for her masterful musicianship in Albania, Italy, Greece, France, Morocco, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and in the United States. She has been praised by the New London Day critic as an “especially fine and beautiful player”.In the United States Brunilda Myftaraj has performed as soloist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Farmington Valley Orchestra and a number of times with The Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Brunilda has presented recitals at the Piano and Friends Chamber Music series in Tucson Arizona, Mostly Mozart series in Napa Valley, the Schubert Club in Minneapolis, Performers of Westchester and many more. She has been featured on radio stations in NY, CT and MA and in the Hartford Courant paper.Ms. Myftaraj participated and was recognized at several competitions such as first prize winner of the Van Roy competition and the Emerson Quartet competition at the Hartt school of music in Hartford, winner of Trinity auditions in NY, semifinalist in Young Artist Guild in NY and Lipizer Competition in Gorizia, Italy as well as Indianapolis International Violin Competition in Indiana.She graduated with the Highest Honors from the renowned Conservatory of Fine Arts in Tirana. She furthered her studies in Switzerland, Italy and United States.Her teachers have included Proletare Skenderi, Piero Faulli of the Quartetto Italiano, Alberto Lissy, Phil Setzer, Eugene Drucker, Rafael Druian and Renato Bonacini.Ms. Myftaraj currently holds the position of Concertmaster for the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and the Connecticut Lyric Opera.  She is the director of the Virtuosi Music Academy and the Summer Music Institute in Farmington, Connecticut, where she also teaches violin and chamber music.Brunilda released her first solo album “Naked Violin” in 2014 with solo violin works and is being sold on many sites: cdbaby.com, amazon.com, and records.thevirtuosi.org

Laura Garritson Parker is Assistant Professor of Music at Principia College in Illinois where she teaches music classes, piano and violin lessons, coaches chamber music, and accompanies. As well as teaching, Mrs. Parker has made solo and concerto appearances in over ten countries. In the United States, she has performed in venues such as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York and The Sheldon in St. Louis, and abroad, she has been a featured soloist in the Liszt Festival in Brazil and the International Arts Festival in Venezuela. She has performed with orchestras in Poland and Bulgaria and with several in the States, including The Hartford Symphony Orchestra. In addition to performing, Laura has been a prizewinner in many competitions. She has won the Emerson String Quartet Competition at The Hartt School and the Artist Presentation Society Competition in St. Louis. She was Grand Prize winner of the first Van Rooy Competition for Musical Excellence at The Hartt School, and also received the Gold Prize in the World Piano Competition’s Young Artist Division in Cincinnati. Lastly, Laura won the Paranov Concerto Competition at The Hartt School in 1996, resulting in a performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with The Hartt School Symphony Orchestra. Mrs. Parker has participated in the International Keyboard Institute and Festival held at Mannes College in New York City, and in the summer of 2007, she studied at the International Piano Masterclasses in Portugal and the Mozarteum in Austria. In the summer of 2004, Laura received a Fellowship to attend the prestigious Norfolk Chamber Music Festival followed by performances at the Shandelee Music Festival honoring outstanding alumni. Previously she was awarded full scholarships to the Sarasota Music Festival in Florida and the Kent/Blossom Chamber Music Festival in Ohio, where she worked with such pianists as Robert Levin and Yefim Bronfman. She has also worked with Paul Badura-Skoda, Emanuel Ax, and Leon Fleisher, among others. Laura has been on the jury of several competitions, including the Marie Stillwell Young Artist Competition in Illinois, as well as the Sigma Alpha Iota Young Artist Competition. In 2005, Laura and fellow Yale musicians completed a recording project at Yale University consisting of the complete songs by Charles Ives which has been released on the Naxos label. Other recordings include compositions by Steven Gryc, released on the
Centaur label, as well as “Our Favorite Chopin,” a collection of works by Chopin performed by members of her family. Laura holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Hartt School and an Artist Diploma from Yale University. Her piano teachers include Luiz de Moura Castro, Boris Berman, Jane Allen, and Laura Schindler. A violinist since the age of three, she has enjoyed a diverse musical career including soloing with orchestras in the St. Louis area, performing chamber music with her two sisters, Ashley and Lindsay, and playing in many orchestras in the States including the Round Top Festival Orchestra in Texas. Her teachers include John Kendall, founder of the Suzuki movement in the United States, Katie Lansdale at The Hartt School, and the late Mitchell Stern, former member of the American String Quartet.

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