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Sun Times Feature Story


11719

Italian Pianist Pietro de Maria Opens Miami International Piano Festival Series At Aventura Arts & Cultural Center On November 17


ITALIAN PIANIST PIETRO DE MARIA OPENS MIAMI INTERNATIONAL PIANO FESTIVAL SERIES AT AVENTURA ARTS AND CULTURAL CENTER ON NOVEMBER 17.
The Classical Sundays at Five Series at The Aventura Arts and Cultural Center offers the return of the international piano sensation Pietro de Maria and brings the popular “Magic of Opera Arias and Piano Masterpieces” to Aventura on December 15.

A PIANO FESTIVAL THAT IS TRULY INTERNATIONAL

The Miami International Piano Festival discovers great pianists from throughout the world and offers their gifts to the South Florida Community. This season The Piano Festival is presenting exceptional pianists from Italy, Croatia, Russia, Serbia, Cuba and The United States. On November 17 it will present Italian artist Pietro de Maria, who will offer a program of masterworks by Ludwig Van Beethoven and Sergei Rachmaninoff. On December 15 both piano and opera are celebrated in a special program.

Miami International Piano Festival Artistic Director Giselle Brodsky explains that “we are in our 23rd season of bringing to South Florida pianists from numerous countries, presenting artists who are able to speak with unique musical voices, enlightening and moving our audience. For musicians of the very highest level, extraordinary technical skill can only take you so far. To be truly unique, you must have a special intuition, an almost mystical ability to capture the emotion behind and beyond each note. Pietro de Maria, Micah McLaurin and soprano Eglise Gutierrez have such intuition.”
"When Pietro De Maria puts his hands on the piano, it comes spontaneously to revive an old definition: he is a poet of the keyboard." Lorenzo Arruga, Il Giornale.
After receiving the Critics' Prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1990), and First Prize in other prestigious international piano competitions Pietro De Maria gained worldwide recognition. Revealing a precocious talent, he won First Prize at the Alfred Cortot International Piano Competition in Milan at the age of 13. He graduated from the Conservatory of Venice and continued his studies at the Conservatory of Geneva, where he obtained the Premier Prix de Virtuosité with the highest honors. De Maria has been acclaimed for his live performances and recordings, which include the complete works of Chopin. "... these are among the finest of all Chopin discs, easily excelling recordings by almost all the most celebrated names in the catalogue." Bryce Morrison, International Piano

THE MAGIC OF OPERA ARIAS AND PIANO MASTERPIECES COMES TO AVENTURA ON DECEMBER 15
The Piano Festival has been collaborating with the Manny Perez Vocal Studio on a program that celebrates both piano and opera, presenting very popular programs in Miami Beach. For the first time Aventura audiences can enjoy this very special format. This unique program will provide a dialogue between pianists and opera singers of great romantic masterpieces and lead the audience into a journey of these two great forms of art. Internationally acclaimed soprano Eglise Gutierrez will perform great opera arias, accompanied by pianist Luis Urbina. American pianist Micah McLaurin will perform a wide range of solo piano masterpieces.
Eglise Guttierrz has performed with the many of the leading opera companies, including Royal Opera House at Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera. Born in Holguin, Cuba, she has been named by Opera News as “one of opera’s next wave”. The New York Times wrote that “the Cuban-born soprano Eglise Gutiérrez offered a wonderfully nuanced portrayal of Amina, the sleepwalking bride to be. Vulnerable and sweetly innocent, she sang (often in a stratospherically high range) with graceful phrasing and dynamic control.” Bachtrack.com wrote in a review of Covent Garden Bellini Sonnambula “Gutiérrez sounded wonderfully warm and rich in the low parts of her register, sliding effortlessly up into high notes in intricate coloratura, totally confident at all points in between. She produced plenty of trills and flourishes when required while keeping to the purity of Bellini's vocal line at all times: it was a superb vocal performance.”
Winner of the 2016 Gilmore Young Artist Award, American pianist Micah McLaurin is one of the outstanding and unique pianists of his generation. His deeply personal interpretations, warm, singing tone and total command over the keyboard have captivated audiences worldwide. The Santa Barbara Independent wrote: “So persuasive is McLaurin’s conviction that he only had to touch the first chords of the Larghetto, and the concert hall seemed to unhinge from ordinary time”. The Online Arts Journal of North Carolina wrote that “McLaurin's depth of emotion transitioning from the serious opening melody to the calm and lyrical middle section (and then back) was powerful and mesmerizing.”
These recitals continue Classical Sundays at Five at the Aventura venue. As part of the Aventura Cultural Series, the audience enjoys an intimate experience. A convivial wine and cheese reception follows the recital. The Miami International Piano Festival’s Lecturer in Residence, Dr. Frank E. Cooper, proffers illuminating commentary on the program.


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