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Castles, Firebirds, Promenades, Creatures at Welte Hall

Images of Castles, Firebirds, Promenades and other creatures will accompany the inaugural concert of the Connecticut Virtuosi’s and New Britain Symphony’s Magnum Opus II series. The event, also in collaboration with the New Britain Museum of American Art, will combine visual and musical experiences into what promises to be a feast for all senses.

The concert will take place at Welte Hall at CCSU on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 3:30 p.m., with 3 p.m. pre-concert presentation from the Virtuosi Music Academy students, the art gallery display in the lobby, and a post-concert gathering at the Belvedere restaurant.

The concert program consists of jewels of Russian symphonic music: Pictures At An Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky, Concerto for Piano No. 1 in B-flat by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, and The Firebird Suite Igor Stravinsky. The soloist for the evening will be young American piano prodigy Nathaniel Baker; concert will be conduced by Maestro Adrian Sylveen, visual presentation is designed by Melissa Nardiello.

Nathaniel BakerConnecticut native, Nathaniel Baker, began his formal piano training at the age of 7. His subsequent rise to musical maturity has seen the beginnings of a rich and varied career as a solo performer, chamber musician, music director, and theorist. In the spring of 2010, Nathaniel graduated from The Hartt School with majors in both Piano Performance and Music Theory. He has studied privately with Luiz de Moura-Castro, Benita Rose and Margarita Nuller and participated in master classes with Paul Badura-Skoda, Diane Andersen, Dmitry Rachmanov, Watson Morrison and Awadagin Pratt, among others.

Baker has played in venues throughout Connecticut, including the Connecticut Governor’s Residence, the Mark Twain House, Eastern Connecticut State University’s Shafer Auditorium and Von Der Mehden Recital Hall at the University of Connecticut. He has also performed at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, at music festivals in Spain and Portugal, and the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil’s fourth largest city. Baker has appeared as a soloist with the Willimantic Orchestra and the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Youth Orchestra. He placed third in the 2011 Young Artist Piano Competition sponsored by the Connecticut State Music Teachers’ Association.

The past few years have seen the development of another one of Nathaniel’s passions: poetry. Nathaniel’s unique blend of dramatic poetry recitation and music has found an audience throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts. In July 2010, this integral aspect of Nathaniel’s career assumed international dimensions when he gave an extensive recitation at the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy.

“Maestro and I are thrilled that after the successful initial season the two orchestras combine for the “Opus II”. This is a fantastic musical program for the Greater New Britain community. We invite everyone to check us out!!“ says Nancy Judd, the president of the NBSO.

This is the second season of Magnum Opus series, it is sponsored by American Savings Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, Roberts Foundation, Farmington Bank, Webster Bank, New Britain Arts Alliance, Polish and Polish American Studies at CCSU, Andrew J. Sloper Musical Fund, Charles Parker Trust/Public Music Fund, The Marjorie Moore Charitable Foundation, and many individual donors from the community.