July 20, 2008

Series Holds Line on Entertainment Inflation

By Bill Blankenship

By Bill Blankenship


It might cost you more for gasoline to drive to the next season of Topeka Community Concert Association shows, but the tickets to see them remain a bargain.

As it has since 1931, TCCA will again for its 2008-09 season present an eclectic program of concerts at family-friendly prices.

The prices for season subscriptions remain unchanged for the next six-show season. They are as follows:

- Senior membership, $44, admits a person 65 or older to all six concerts.

- Individual membership, $50, admits the buyer to the full season.

- Single-family membership, $55, good for one adult and all students in the household ages 5 to 21.

- Family membership, $100, good for two adults and their household's students.

The 2007-08 season sold out before its first concert, so early purchase of 2008-09 subscriptions is encouraged. They can be purchased by going to topekacca.org or calling TCCA president Gary Johnson at (785) 267-7913.

The six concerts are a varied lot.

- Sept. 22: Cirque Voila. White Concert Hall is too small to house Cirque du Soleil, but it can accommodate the same style of circus in the form of Cirque Voila.

With nine performers maximum, no animals and only a small number of complex set pieces and props, Cirque Voila lets its audiences marvel at the feats human beings are capable of doing through clowning, contortion, juggling, acrobatics and aerial antics.

- Oct. 25: Daniel Narducci. Classical American baritone Daniel Narducci has sung with some of the world's most prestigious symphony orchestras. He also co-starred with Frederica von Stade and the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra in a program broadcast internationally by PBS titled "Pops at the Phil: A Century of Broadway."

On the operatic stage, Narducci's recent appearances include Mercutio in Gounod's "Romeo et Juliette" with the Cleveland Opera, and Escamillo in "Carmen" with the Indianapolis Opera.

Narducci also has done musical theater, including the role of Lancelot during two national tours of "Camelot," most notably opposite Robert Goulet's King Arthur. In the recording studio, Narducci recently performed the role of Captain Hook on the world premiere recording of Leonard Bernstein's "Peter Pan."

- Nov. 22: Pavlo. This composer, guitarist, singer and recording artists creates music of a style best described as "Mediterranean music" as it combines influences of Flamenco, Latin, Classical and Mediterranean guitar with the Greek bouzouki.

Pavlo has six CDs: "Pavlo,""Fantasia,""I Feel Love Again,""Frostbite Music for the Holidays,""Mediterranean Lounge" and "Irresistible.""Fantasia" was nominated for Best Instrumental Album of the Year at the 2000 Juno Awards in Canada, the nation's equivalent of the Grammys.

In 2004, Pavlo won the category for World Artist of the Year at the Canadian Independent Music Awards, and his music has been featured on more than a dozen CD compilations around the world.

- Feb. 12, 2009: Wholly Brass. Since 1996, this brass quintet has been wowing audiences with performances at New York's Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall and many more prestigious venues.

The group was founded and nurtured while the players were students at the Juilliard School. The repertoire of the group includes classical masterpieces, jazz, Broadway, world and Hollywood music. The music is coupled with narrative commentary between each selection.

- March 12, 2009: Pianafiddle. In a classic example of opposites not only attracting but also making intriguing music together, Pianafiddle couples two diverse musicians.

Lynn Wright has enjoyed a long musical career as a jazz and ragtime pianist, including a 10-year stint as the resident ragtime pianist at the world-famous Silver Dollar Saloon in Jackson, Wyo. Adam DeGraff is a classically trained orchestral violinist and chamber musician, having served most recently a five-season tenure with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra in Virginia.

Their separate paths led them both to West Virginia in 2003, where each recognized in the other a complementary talent: soulful, spontaneous, improvisational piano playing by Wright, technically superb and emotionally powerful violin playing by DeGraff.

The result is a highly improvisational program that blends bluegrass, jazz, classical, old time, ragtime, blues, Celtic and klezmer.

- April 24, 2009: Claremont Trio. Twin sisters, violinist Emily Bruskin and cellist Julia Bruskin, formed the trio, which is named after an avenue in New York City, with pianist Donna Kwong in 1999 at the Juilliard School.

After winning the 2001 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Claremont Trio launched its touring career with an acclaimed New York debut.

The Claremonts since have won several competitions, including the first Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award. The trio has played in prestigious venues, including the American Academy in Rome and the Lincoln Center, as well as in Serbia, Bosnia and Slovenia as part of a cultural exchange co-sponsored by the U.S. State Department and Carnegie Hall.

Committed to expanding piano trio repertoire, the group presents classical favorites alongside new, exciting compositions created by established and up-and-coming composers. Strings Magazine has described the trio's playing as "deft, exhilarating and imaginative."

Bill Blankenship can be reached

at (785) 295-1284 or [email protected]

(c) 2008 Topeka Capital Journal. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.