As I wrote on March 7th, our beloved Nita Qiu was selected by Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) as a Minnesota Varsity 2017 Featured Artist. Her blazing performance of Chopin's B minor Scherzo was subsequently aired on Minnesota Public Radio on March 7th. This past week a panel of judges named Nita to the ultimate status of Minnesota Public Radio's 2017 Minnesota Varsity Showcase Artist! As a result, Nita will be presented live on Minnesota Public Radio, our nation's top rated classical public radio station, from the stage of the Fitzgerald Theater in Downtown St. Paul. The broadcast will be on Sunday, April 30th, at 5:00 PM. The general admission tickets are free, but need to be reserved by calling the Fitzgerald Theater at 651-290-1200. The Fitzgerald was made famous as the theatrical home of Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion.
There is more great news! Nita was selected for the second year in a row to attend the Southeastern Piano Festival and is an automatic semi-finalist of its Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition. Only twenty pre-college pianists (ages 13-18) were selected from around the world for this festival. The festival and its competition are held at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. The Festival Faculty and the Guest Artists are among the top musicians in the world. We are all very happy for Nita to have this wonderful opportunity once again. The level of the Festival is world-class and she made many friends among the twenty like-minded souls she befriended last year.
In similar fashion, our great Collin Jinks will return this summer to The Apprentice Program at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Art of the Piano. This is a VERY prestigious program for college pianists, including undergraduate, masters, and doctoral candidates. Collin is one of just two high school pianists invited this year. Like the Southwestern Piano Festival, the faculty and guest artists are of the highest caliber. And like Nita, Collin had a fantastic experience and made so many new friends and colleagues last year and is so happy to be returning this summer!
In other news, our young Franklin Waldron made his concerto debut this past weekend with the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra. The performance Saturday evening at the Mindekirken in Minneapolis was fantastic! Although Franklin's performance was a bit edgy, it was a fiery and thrilling performance. The audience was red hot matching the playing and the juicy venue of the Mindekirken added to the electric ambiance. His performance the very next day at the beautiful new Ives Auditorium in Bloomington was a model of controlled classic beauty, exibiting gorgeous sound and phrasing. It was a deeply satisfying performance.
And finally, as the Winner of the prestigious Thursday Musical's Young Artist Competition, Noah Qiu performed the first movement of Chopin's Funeral March Sonata at the Winners Concert. The concert was held last night at Antonello Hall at the MacPhail Center for the Arts.
Yours in Music -
Joseph & Jo Anne