Howard County Plays, a partnering of Jordan Kitt’s, the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission, and the Columbia Festival of the Arts, hosted international violin phenom Clarissa Bevilaqua backstage at Merriweather Post Pavilion this week.
As part of an outbound effort to bring local and international artists to the Howard County community, this marks the first community concert of 2019 featuring one of the world’s great, young violinists, accompanied by master pianist Terry Lowry.
Praised for enchanting the audience with her musical interpretation and style, Clarissa has always had a passion for music. She started playing the violin at age five, and debuted at the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago in front of ten thousand people when she was nine years old. She has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, and has given solo recitals and concerts in the United States and Europe.
The audience was also presented with a preview of “Hear Us”, a reality series focused on the lives, struggles and successes of three young artists seeking to attain the top tier of international musicianship in their respective disciplines.
Olena was born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine. She began her piano studies at the age of three. She attended the Odessa Special Music Boarding School and received a Bachelor Diploma and a specialist Diploma in Music Teaching and Piano Concert Performance.
She has won many piano competitions including the First Prize in the Piano Competition “Blue Bird” in Simferopol, Ukraine ; the Third Prize in the International Competition in memory of Sergei Prokofiev; the Special Diploma in the International Piano Competition in the name of Emil Gilles; and the Special Prize in the International Piano Competition in the name of Vladimir Krainov. Find out more or choose a class with Olena here!
Li-Ly Chang, is a pianist, composer, teacher, and chamber musician. She has received many grants and awards including MD State Arts Council, Jordan Kitts Music Teacher’s Enrichment grant, MD State Music Teachers Association and Montgomery County Music Teachers Association grants.
Her performances include the Dame Myra Hess Series, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Roosevelt Hall, Shriver Hall, Strathmore Center, Savannah on Stage Festival, Levine School, and New England Conservatory.
Her piano teachers include Sacha Gorodnitzki, Leon Fleisher, Sequeira Costa, Fernando Laires, Walter Hautzig, Jack Winerock and Ming Tcherepnin. Her composition teachers are Joe Nelson, John Pozdro and Henry Mitchell.
She has been invited to perform and teach at International School in Shanghai in 2017. She was a music panelist for the Maryland State Arts Council and is the Director of the International Young Artist Piano Competition, Washington DC. She is a faculty member at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD. Find out more or choose a class with Olena here!
Núria was born in Barcelona, Spain and began learning music theory and piano at a young age. She studied both at the Conservatori Municipal Superior de Musica de Barcelona for ten years. She also studied piano in Germany with Stanislav Rosenberg for an additional four years.
Since moving to the United States she has continued her classical piano studies with renowned Russian pianist Nikita Fitenko. Núria competed in her first Washington International Piano Artists Competition in 2017, and looks forward to competing again in 2019.
Olena has performed extensively throughout the Ukraine including performances with the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra.
A hardworking mother of two, Nuria has been playing the piano for over four decades. She taught beginner and intermediate piano to children and adults for over 5 years before joining the Jordan Kitt’s team in 2019. Based on her students’ interests, she teaches classical, contemporary and modern styles of music. Find out more or choose a class with Olena here!
Having amassed billions of views and millions of followers, The Piano Guys have become one of the most successful instrument music groups ever to grace the Internet, while capturing the hearts of music fans as they tour worldwide. See them in a virtual performance along with Yamaha’s Craig Knudsen at Jordan Kitt’s Music on August 6th at 7pm.
The meteoric success of the “Guys”-pianist Jon Schmidt, cellist Steven Sharp Nelson, video producer Paul Anderson and music producer Al van der Beek-came about from more than 60 breathtaking videos. The talented group performs their unique brand of classical, contemporary and rock and roll music in locales where a piano has never gone before-from atop the Great Wall of China and a speeding train, to the edge of a 1,000-foot cliff in the Utah desert.
At Jordan Kitt’s Fairfax showroom and Music Education Center at 7pm on August 6th, six of The Piano Guys’ most popular viral videos move out from the screen, to be experienced for the first time as simultaneous television and “live” piano performances in the homes of Disklavier owners around the globe.
These DisklavierTV performances, as they are known, put a bright spotlight on both the amazing talent of The Piano Guys and the Yamaha Disklavier, the world’s most technologically advanced piano. The Disklavier is a remarkable high-tech reproducing piano that can transmit highly-nuanced performance data – the actual keystrokes and subtle gradations of pedal movement – between similarly equipped instruments over the Internet. As an artist performs, their precise note-for-note performance data is captured, then streamed to similarly equipped remote instruments anywhere in the world, where it is recreated exactly as the artist originally intended.
The end result is nothing short of spectacular. As fans watch and hear Schmidt and Sharp Nelson trade piano and cello jabs on the big screen television, Schmidt’s actual piano keystrokes are faithfully recreated, note-for-note, on the connected Disklavier at Jordan Kitt’s Music.
Yamaha’s ‘Technology Guy,’ Craig Knudsen, encouraged Yamaha to save the performance data from day one during the very first videos. This data is not a recording of the sound of the piano, but rather it’s a precise digital map of Jon’s performance-what notes he played, how fast and hard the key was pressed, how he used the sustain pedal, etc. Jon’s fingers are essentially reaching out from the video and playing the piano sitting in front of you.”
To make the experience even more authentic, Van Der Beek meticulously removed Schmidt’s acoustic piano part from the original audio recordings, while Knudsen replaced it with Schmidt’s performance data that enables playback on Yamaha Disklavier pianos.
Jordan Kitt’s Music is proud to be a part of the 2018 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Music Education Advocacy D.C. fly-in. Each spring, Jordan Kitt’s Music is joined in its home town by other NAMM members to serve as advocates for the right of every child to learn and grow with music by visiting with their elected representatives on Capitol Hill.
NAMM Fly-In participants receive intensive training with policy experts to learn about the policies and priorities of the current administration. With guidance from veteran delegates and seasoned professionals, NAMM members prepare research-based talking points for visits with their Members of Congress.
These visits are not just a time to make demands of our legislature, however. It is also when we encourage Senators and Representatives to celebrate the school districts and schools that receive national recognition through The NAMM Foundation’s Best Communities for Music Education SupportMusic Merit Awards within their states and congressional districts.
The event included a Day of Service, where NAMM members commit a day getting involved in local music education, meetings on Capital Hill, and a number of NAMM hosted special events designed to maximize the impact of the event.
For more information about NAMM or the Fly-in Event, visit www. namm.org
Jordan Kitt’s was proud to provide the Yamaha C7X grand piano for a performance by jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut at this year’s Folger Gala on Monday, April 16th.
Described in Time magazine as “the best jazz pianist of his generation”, Cyrus has more than a dozen albums in his discography, and his leadership and prowess as a soloist has also led him to be a first call for the piano chair in many big bands including the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, and Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra.
The Folger Shakespeare Library’s annual gala is the organization’s largest and most significant fundraiser of the year, providing support to the Folger and its impact driving discovery, transforming education, and creating experiences.
As one of Washington’s most elegant social evenings this special event is attended by the leaders of the social, business, government, and diplomatic communities.
The British Ambassador and Lady Darroch are the Honorary Gala Co-Chairs, and Folger Board member Vinton Cerf of Google and his wife Sigrid are the 2018 Folger Gala Co-Chairs.
In addition to Cyrus Chestnut, the eveing also featured entertainment by Sir Derek Jacobi and Richard Clifford, as well as singer and actress Erica Dorfler.
On Monday, March 12th the Piano Technician’s Guild held their annual meeting at the Jordan Kitt’s Music Showroom and Music Education Center in Rockville, Maryland.
The event featured Yamaha Concert and Artist Master Technician Ace Ugai and a fine Yamaha CFX Concert Grand. Ace called his class: “A Master’s Approach to Performance Preparation.”
Ace Ugai and action removed from a Yamaha CFX concert grand piano.
In his words, a master of the craft must include consideration of the room acoustics ,tuning and action regulation specifically tailored for those conditions. The class identified the sounds and effects to look for, and demonstrated how to listen, evaluate and manipulate all of those facets.
Mr. Ugai and PTG DC Chapter President Robin Olson
The Piano Technicians Guild, Inc. is the largest non-profit organization serving piano tuners, technicians, and craftsmen throughout the world. Formed in 1957 by the merger of the American Society of Piano Technicians and the National Association of Piano Tuners, the Guild was organized to promote the highest possible service and technical standards among piano tuners and technicians.
The Washington DC Chapter was the first chapter in the Piano Technicians Guild (PTG). We have approximately 70 members in our chapter and over half of our members are Registered Piano Technicians. A Registered Piano Technician (RPT) is a piano technician who has passed a series of rigorous tests given by the PTG.
National Philharmonic welcomes more than 10,000 second graders to the Music Center at Strathmore during the annual Strathmore Student Concerts from now through Thursday, Nov. 16. The purpose of the program is to expose every Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) 2nd grader to a live performance of classical music.
The students learn about classical music and prepare for the concert hall experience during the month of October.
For many young people in Montgomery County, the National Philharmonic is their first exposure to classical music. The orchestra was a founding partner in the annual Strathmore Student Concerts, a hallmark education initiative that welcomes every Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) 2nd grader to the Music Center concert hall for a live performance. The National Philharmonic, Strathmore, and Montgomery County Public Schools are shaking up the annual concerts with a new conductor, new repertoire, and new vision to better serve students.
National Philharmonic Associate Conductor Victoria Gau is now at the helm. She worked closely with key partners and educators to create an experience that aligns with evolving MCPS curricular goals. Gau wanted students to leave the concerts with a better understanding of how they process music and how it can elicit specific emotional responses. The lively new format explores rhythm, dynamics, tempo, and musical texture—foundational elements of the concert experience that can make a piece feel happy or sad, serious or lighthearted, contemplative or full of unbridled excitement.
To reinforce these touchpoints, Gau selected music that bridges the classical canon and new works, demonstrating that classical music is evolving. Works by Beethoven and Brahms are paired with compositions by American composers Leonard Bernstein and Jennifer Higdon, and music by Mexican composer Arturo Marquez. Gau was also conscious to include gender and ethnic diversity to reflect demographics in the County and show that anyone can enjoy and be a part of classical music.
The concert also includes a new commission from Bethesda-based composer Charlie Barnett, Second Grade Second Line, a short participatory work that introduces different sections of the orchestra—woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings, and keyboard.
Students are engaged through call and response, clapping, and percussive music-making from the audience—National Philharmonic musicians even get in on the fun from stage.
Gau has maintained a relationship with National Philharmonic since 2005 and joined National Philharmonic’s conducting staff in 2010. Gau is in demand nationally as a youth orchestra festival conductor. She is also Artistic Director and Conductor of the Takoma Ensemble and Capital City Symphony, where she has written and performed annual family concerts for 20 seasons.
The 2nd grader student concerts represent a $185,000 investment in public education, with sponsorship provided by The Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, GEICO, and Jordan Kitt’s Music.