Lyra Summer Workshop Debuts With Classes and Four Concerts

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Arts / Jul. 22, 2010 1:28pm EDT


Amadi Azikiwe, a noted violist and music director of the Harlem Symphony Orchestra, wlll be one of the guest artists and teachers at the Lyra Summer Workshop that will be held for two weeks with housing and instruction at Vermont Technical College and public performances at Chandler Music Hall.Amadi Azikiwe, a noted violist and music director of the Harlem Symphony Orchestra, wlll be one of the guest artists and teachers at the Lyra Summer Workshop that will be held for two weeks with housing and instruction at Vermont Technical College and public performances at Chandler Music Hall.

The Lyra Summer Workshop, a two-week music seminar, will kick off on July 25 with piano and string players spending time with well-known musicians from around the country, in private lessons, chamber ensembles, and group classes in music theory, instrumental literature, and ear-training.

The students, nine of them this first year, will live at Vermont Technical College and in their free time, will take advantage of area activities including bowling, tubing on the river, and a tour of VTC’s farm. Most of the students hail from around New York City and range in age from six to 16.

Lyra Summer Music will also present eight public concerts and master classes during the two weeks, featuring students and faculty, at ticket donation prices from $10 (for master classes) to $15 (for concerts), with student and senior discounts.

Open auditions will be held for master classes, which are one-on-one lessons that may be observed by the public.

Both master classes will be held at Conant Auditorium at Vermont Technical College. At 3 p.m. Violist Amadi Azikiwe will hold a master class on Wednesday, July 28 and pianist Paul Shaw will hold one on Thursday, July 29.

Four evening performances will be held at Chandler Music Hall at 7 p.m. On Thursday, July 29, Azikiwe will perform, and on Friday, July 30, Shaw will take his turn, playing works including Bach, Schubert and Bruch in concert .

On Wednesday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. the entire faculty will play a program including works by Debussy, Ravel and Shostakovich.

The grand finale will be Saturday Aug. 7 at 7 p.m., when the Lyra students will demonstrate what they’ve been playing during their two weeks. Earlier, students will play for a Bethany Church service on Sunday and a 1 p.m. event at the Senior Center on Monday.

(Detailed information on public concerts can be found in this week’s Herald Calendar.)

The faculty has vast experience and skill in both playing and teaching.

Mary Prescott, co-director and piano faculty at the program, has run a private studio for over 10 years and has held faculty positions at various prestigious music academies. As a performer, Prescott’s repertoire ranges from works by Beethoven and Schubert to Rzewski and Cowell.

Pianist and co-director Akiko Sasaki is considered one of the premier music educators and performers in New York City. Sasaki founded Forte piano studio in Brooklyn and Musical Explorers and Performing Pianists of New York, as well as performed at Carnegie Hall. He has been awarded the New York City Artist International Award and the New York Distinguished Artist Award.

Viola virtuoso Amadi Azikiwe has played for the New York Philharmonic, was a principal violist of SHIRA Jerusalem International Symphony Orchestra, and a guest principal violist of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. Azikiwe’s concerts have been broadcast on various major radio stations and he currently resides on the faculty of James Madison University.

A graduate of Julliard, Jamaican pianist Paul Shaw has performed as soloist with orchestras throughout the United States. He has appeared in recital at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the Marlboro Music Festival and other venues spanning three continents.

Cellist Jody Redhage’s wide variety of musical interests have led her to performances with members of the Tokyo String Quartet, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the Flux Quartet, Neil Diamond, Jay-Z, Beyonce, the Roots, Enya, and Sufjan Stevens. Redhage has appeared on “Conan O’Brien,” “The View,” “The Early Show,” and “The Today Show,” and her own compositions have been aired on NPR stations countrywide.

Andrew Eng, a Boston based violinist and violist, has played as a violinist for numerous string trios, quartets, and orchestras. He is a founding member of A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra and Kalistos Chamber Orchestra of Boston.


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