Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Midwest Young Artists and Lang Lang Foundation

Two years ago, MYA honored international superstar pianist, Lang Lang, at our annual benefit. This has led to a collaboration between MYA and the Lang Lang Foundation. More details will be forthcoming, but I recently had the wonderful opportunity to see Lang Lang lead a special workshop of 100 young pianists on the stage of Roy Thomas Hall in Toronto. All the young pianists worked on the rythmic, yet melodious, Marche Militaire.  The workshop included the Ben and Jerry cartoon clip featuring Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, which Lang Lang said inspired him at the age of two to fall in love with the piano.  Audience members were also treated to a performance of La Campanella from his latest CD release, Lang Lang:  Liszt My Piano Hero.                   
The foundation's work is to bring the love of music to as many children as possible, and it was uplifting to see how inspired, proud and joyful the 100 young pianists who participated in this event were as they left the hall with their parents.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Midwest Young Artists and Chicago Ballet Collaborate

Pictured below are Ted Seymour, Choreographer, Allan Dennis, MYA Founder and Director, and Dan Duell, Ballet Chicago Artistic Director.

 
This team came up with a wonderful dance and music program for young students which was presented at Preston Bradley Hall on Thursday this week.  The concerts were part of Young People's Concerts at the Chicago Cultural Center, sponsored by the International Music Foundation.  Titled DanceVision, Young Artists for Young Audiences, the concerts included two dance interpretations of Antonio Vivaldi's Winter from The Four Seasons, accompanied by a chamber orchestra from MYA's Concert Orchestra, which featured Aidan Perreaut, 8th grade violin soloist who played well beyond his years.  Dr. D read the original poetry that inspired Vivaldi's music.  Students in the audience also got a chance to try ballet positions, I-V, plies and reveles, and to watch Dance of the Sugar Plums from the ever holiday favorite, The Nutcracker.  It was just the right mix to capture and keep the attention of this young audience!