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Carter Brey & Christopher O'Riley: Redefining The Possibilities Of Classical Music



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Carter Brey & Christopher O’Riley: Redefining The Possibilities Of Classical Music

Longtime recital partners and two of America’s most compelling musical artists, cellist Carter Brey and pianist Christopher O’Riley were recently hailed by The New York Times as a “finely nuanced, impeccable partnership.” Mr Brey has been the New York Philharmonic’s principal cellist since 1996 and a sought-after soloist worldwide, while Mr O’Riley combines duties as the host of National Public Radio’s top-rated series “From the Top” with an enormously wide-ranging career as soloist and recording artist in repertoire that defies all categories. Recognized as two of the music world’s most visible and admired performers, the duo has accepted an invitation from Newtown Friends of Music to perform in concert at Edmond Town Hall in Newtown on Sunday, October 23, at 2 pm.

Attendees should note that the concert will begin one hour earlier than usual for Friends of Music Concerts.

A classical-crossover artist, pianist and national media personality, Christopher O’Riley has dazzled the world with heartfelt piano interpretations on the stage, for the National Public Radio and in his recordings. His warm personality has endeared him as the host of NPR’s “From the Top” for the last ten years, creating a dedicated fan base that appeals to all ages.

He first began performing Radiohead songs as a time-filler during a break in the program, to supplement preludes and miniatures by composers such as Debussy and Rachmaninoff. Many of those short classical pieces are found on his CD release At the Break.

Mr O’Riley has also made many recordings of classical music. His debut album, a collection of the works of Ferruccio Busoni, including the seldom performed Fantasia Contrappuntistica, was released in 1983. He has since released several recordings, including works of Maurice Ravel, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Jean-Philippe Rameau, John Adams, Igor Stravinsky, and Alexander Scriabin, as well as a recording of Rhapsody in Blue with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Carter Brey began playing the violin at age 9 and the cello at age 12 in school, although he did not seriously consider becoming a professional musician until he was 16. He studied under Laurence Lesser and Stephen Kates at Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute and later with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, where he was a Wardell Fellow and a Houpt Scholar. In 1979 he joined the Cleveland Orchestra where he played for two seasons.

Mr Brey came to international attention in 1981 when he won the Rostropovich International Cello Competition, which led to his playing the Robert Schumann Cello concerto under the baton of Mstislav Rostropovich with the National Symphony Orchestra in 1983.

As a chamber musician, Mr Brey has performed with Tokyo String Quartet, Emerson String Quartet, New York Youth Symphony, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has performed at the Spoleto festivals in the United States and Italy, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the La Jolla Chamber Music Festival and elsewhere. In 1996, Mr Brey was appointed principal cellist of New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

The complementary set of energies between Mr O’Riley and Mr Brey results in a finely nuanced, impeccable musical partnership. Firmly following the Friends of Music adage “exquisite music — superbly performed,” the program on October 23 will concentrate on cello sonatas by the romantic composers Frédéric Chopin and Robert Schumann, both of whom were born in 1810 and who both wrote fabulous music during their short life times.

Single tickets for just this performance are available at the Edmond Town Hall box office for $20, cash or check only. Students K-12 will be admitted free of charge when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult. The box office will open one hour before the start of the concert.

Tickets may also be obtained in advance by sending check and self-addressed envelope to Newtown Friends of Music, PO Box 295, Newtown CT 06470-0295. Tickets will be mailed on a first come/first served basis. Early reservations are strongly encouraged for this concert.

Parking is free behind Edmond Town Hall, 45 Main Street in Newtown, and the facility is handicap accessible with all seating providing excellent viewing and acoustics.

An informal reception following the concert will offer concert goers the opportunity to meet and mingle with the musicians.

For information regarding future events, to print out an order form for this or other concerts, to learn more about programs, the music and the artists, the Friends of Music School Outreach Programs, and read about reviews of past concerts, visit NewtownFriendsOfMusic.org.

For additional information or to order tickets call 203-426-6470.

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