10/20/13 “FRENCH CONNECTIONS”

Archival record of the past event:

HERITAGE CONCERT SERIES – “French Connections”
Welte Hall, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT
3:30 pm – Virtuosi Music Academy Presentation,  4 pm – Concert Program

Saint-Saens violin concerto, Mov. 1 – Michelle Stern, violin
Bizet: Symphony in C major
Chopin: Concerto No. 1 – Neal Larrabee, piano

Saint-Saens Violin Concerto Mov. 1 (Audio Sample) >>>

OCTOBER Chopin Events presented by CT Chopin Society, Ct Lyric Opera, CT Virtuosi
Concert co-presented with the Polish Studies Program at CCSU
Free Admission Event

Adrian Sylveen, conductor

Neal Larrabee, pianist, has concertised extensively in the United States and Europe. He has performed in major music centers including New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Berlin, Warsaw and Moscow. His appearances as recitalist and as soloist with orchestras have won critical acclaim. Nominated by the United States Information Service for performing under the auspices of the American embassies, Larrabee has toured Germany, Russia, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia. In Poland, Larrabee has become a well-known favorite of the concert-going public. There, his highly regarded interpretations of Chopin have led to recordings, national broadcasts on television and radio, and engagements in virtually every major concert hall. Invited for return engagements in Moscow, he performed at the Moscow Conservatory’s Rachmaninoff Hall, the Moscow State University, and for the concert series presented at the U.S. Ambassador’s Spaso House. Awarded a Fulbright grant for study at the Moscow Conservatory under Stanislav Neuhaus, Larrabee became the first American pianist to study in the former Soviet Union under official government sponsorship. He also studied with Eugene List at the Eastman School of Music and with Rosina Lhevinne at the Juilliard School, where he was awarded the Josef Lhevinne Scholarship. He earned his doctorate from the State University of New York at Stony Brook under Martin Canin. Larrabee has won honors in the Fifth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and the Ninth International Chopin Competition in Warsaw and was the first pianist to have been awarded the Artur Rubenstein Medal as winner of the Young Musician’s Foundation Competition in Los Angeles.

Michelle Stern, violinist, is 9 years old native of Douglaston, New York. She began her violin studies at age four with her mother, Anna Heifetz, a distinguished violinist and teacher. At age five, Michelle won her first medal from the New York Music Competition and by age 6   gave five performances at Carnegie Hall as a first prize winner of Concert Festival International, American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition and New York Music Competition. At ages seven and eight Michelle was awarded first prizes in the Concert Festival International, American Protégé International Competition and the American Fine Art Competitions. Selected from over a thousand applicants, Michelle was awarded first prize in the Performance category of  “Jewish Kids Got Talent” competition, raising over five thousand dollars in prize money, which she donated to the Manhattan Beach Community and Hurricane Sandy Relief Funds. This year Michelle won first prize and the Judges Distinction  Award at the American Protégé Piano and Strings International competition 2013, was awarded first prize and the Best Performance Award at  American Protégé Concerto Competition and  the Grand Prize at  Concert Festival International Concerto Competition 2013. Since her solo debut with The Island Chamber Symphony at age seven, Michelle has appeared as a soloist with the Manhattan Symphonie Orchestra under direction of Gregory Singer at the BargeMusic “Here and Now” Series and Player’s Club in NYC. Michelle was a  a guest artist on the Shirley Romaine’s ARTSCENE (PBS) and was featured in articles of Bayside Times, Little Neck Ledger, Jewish Press and Gold Coast Gazette.

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