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News : Entertainment Apr 25, 2014 - 5:58:03 AM

“A Young Visionary” Pianist and Composer Michael Brown to perform at Westport Arts Center Young Artist Showcase

By Westport Arts Center

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Pianist and composer Michael Brown. Photo by Jamie Beck. (contributed photo)
The Westport Arts Center’s final concert of the season will feature pianist Michael Brown in the Arts Center’s annual Young Artist Showcase. Mr. Brown, a graduate of The Juilliard School, has received numerous awards, won many competitions for his performances, and is also a dedicated composer. He has performed on 4 continents and in notable venues such as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The New York Times described Michael as “A young piano visionary… with powerful technique and a vivid imagination.” He will perform a favorite repertory works by Schubert, Beethoven, and Copland, along with novel pieces by George Perle, Federico Mompou, and by Brown, himself. The concert will be held on May 4, at 4pm at the Pequot Library, 720 Pequot Ave, in Southport.

"Once a year, we like to showcase a young artist on our wide-ranging series,” said Russell Platt, Westport Arts Center’s Curator for Chamber Music. “This year we host Michael Brown, who is not only a Juilliard-trained piano virtuoso (hailed by such critics as Allan Kozinn of The New York Times) but also an award-winning composer. Michael's fascinating program is built around the time-honored form of the theme and variations. Works by Schubert (the Impromptu in B-Flat Major, D. 935) and Beethoven (the ‘Eroica Variations’) begin and end the concert, but in between come several enticing diversions: the Catalan master Federico Mompou's mellow and entertaining Variations on a Theme of Chopin, Aaron Copland's towering Piano Variations, a seminal work by another American—the ‘Classic Suite,’ a homage to Baroque music, by Copland's distinguished colleague George Perle—and Michael's own ‘Folk Variations.’ It should be an enriching and deeply personal concert by an exceptionally gifted young musician."

Mr. Brown began studying the piano at age 6. He received dual bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano and compositions from The Juilliard School. Among the many competitions he has won are The Juilliard Concerto Competition, the 2010 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition and, The Juilliard School’s Gina Bachauer Piano Competition, which he won twice. Mr. Brown is not only a talented pianist but also a composer. He often performs classical and contemporary works alongside his own. The New York Times has described his compositions as “darkly alluring.” He was recently commissioned for a multimedia work for cello, piano, and film for 2013 at New York’s Look & Listen Festival, songs for mezzo-soprano Naomi O’Connell, and a new piano piece commissioned by the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation. His compositions have been performed at the Kennedy Center, Tanglewood, Carnegie Hall, and many others.

The New York Times has described Mr. Brown’s compositions as “darkly alluring.” (contributed photo)
Tickets to the concert are $25 for adults, $10 for students with a valid I.D., and are available in advance at (203) 222-7070 and, or at the door 30 minutes prior to the start of the performance. A limited number of $15 tickets will be available for presale at the Westport Center for Senior Activities, 21 Imperial Avenue, Westport.

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