Dear friends of music,
It is with great excitement that we embark upon the second season of Clayton Piano Festival! Last year was an undeniable success as we held 7 events within the course of a week throughout the Clayton community – 4 concerts, a lecture, a masterclass for aspiring young pianists and an outreach presentation for children and families and the response was invariably enthusiastic from all audiences. I would like to thank you for your part in making this happen!
We are again fortunate to have a stellar line-up of guest artists for this season. The performers hail from all across the country but now mostly reside in New York City. Angelo Rondello, a returning guest, is a resident of Seattle, WA who, in addition to cultivating a successful private teaching studio, is now actively performing and teaching master classes across the US and in the Philippines where he has toured several times over the past few years. Matthew Harrison who comes from Florida originally, teaches piano literature at the Manhattan School of Music Prep. Department and has started his own performance company called Masterwork Conversations which gives interactive music presentations in public libraries and other venues throughout the New York metro area and beyond. Harrison, another returning guest, will be joined this year by the co-founder of Masterwork Conversations, Vlada Yaneva who has made appearances in Italy, France, Finland, Bulgaria, Greece and England as well as concerts in the US where she has performed in venues such as Steinway Hall and Carnegie Hall. Another new guest will be North Carolina native, Craig Ketter, whose solo career reached an international level in 1999 when he was awarded the grand prize at the Bartok-Kabalevsky-Prokofiev International Piano Competition and has performed as a collaborative artist with opera sensations such as Deborah Voigt, Ben Heppner and Samuel Ramey. We are also pleased to have as a guest lecturer Randolph Foy, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Raleigh Civic Symphony and Chamber Orchestra.
As many of you know, I grew up in the Clayton area and it was here that my musical education began as well. CPF is my way of giving back to a community which gave much to me and to share my love and enthusiasm for great music with as many people as possible. This is, of course, the land of Bluegrass and Country Music, but it is my belief that ‘music is music’ and this ‘classical’ music was written by people who were fundamentally the same as you and me. They had similar joys, sorrows, hopes, dreams, and the great works which they have created are still with us because they capture this universal essence of what it is to be human and they speak to us in ways which only music can. Live performance is a vital part of this art form – when a performer is up there on stage tapping in to whatever wizardry the composer may have conjured up and the audience is able to relate and connect with that, there is a shared experience that occurs which is nothing short of magical. And that is the mission of CPF – to create magic!
It is the mission of CPF to bring outstanding concert pianists from throughout the country to the Clayton area in order to perform concerts and participate in other musically enriching events throughout the community. Through interactive presentations in local schools, public classes for local piano students, and commentary with the concert performances, CPF aims to bridge the gap between performer and audience, bringing great music to people of all ages and levels of exposure to classical music and the arts.