January 10, 2024

Mozart’s Birthday Marathon Benefits Music Program

SHOWCASING THEIR MUSICAL TALENTS: Students from Legacy Arts International’s All-Abilities Music Creation Program will perform their new compositions as part of Mozart’s Birthday Marathon on Sunday, January 28 at Princeton United Methodist Church.

On Sunday, January 28 at 3:30 p.m., more than 20 pianists and musical colleagues of Cristina Altamura, artistic director of Legacy Arts International (LAI), will gather at Princeton United Methodist Church (corner of Nassau and Vandeventer Ave.) to perform Mozart’s music and raise funds for the organization’s All-Abilities Music Creation Program.

“Among these performers are celebrated musicians and teachers such as Phyllis Lehrer, Ena Barton Bronstein, and Ingrid Clarfield, who for four decades have consistently contributed to the excellent standard of music making in Princeton’s extraordinary piano teaching scene,” said Altamura.

The three-hour program features short works, movements and arias from Mozart’s body of work, and from composers who were influenced by him. At the top of each hour, students from LAI’s All-Abilities Program will perform to give the audience a taste of the music being written for their special abilities. Altamura and Adam Sliwinski (of So Percussion) will emcee the concert, introducing the artists and bits of information about each work.

A Coffee/Tea bar organized by Illy at Earth’s End opens at 3:30 p.m., and the musical festivities start at 3:45 p.m. Birthday cake will be served at the reception. Audience members are encouraged to stay for all or any amount of the three-hour event. Ticket holders can duck out and return during intermission breaks.

Participating pianists in addition to Lehrer, Bronstein, and Clarfield are Altamura, Carl Patrick Bolleia, Kristin Cahill, Karen Dalley, Kairy Koshoeva, Esma Pasic-Filipovic, Vanessa Perez, Stephen Buck, and selected students of the All-Abilities Music Creation Project and Youth Ambassadors of Excellence. Guest artists are Gudrun Buhler, soprano; Katherine Lerner Lee, mezzo soprano; Beth Meyers, viola; Courtney Orlando, violin; and Sliwinski, percussionist.

The two-year All-Abilities program is designed for gifted music students whose educational needs are not being met due to factors which could include a disability, lack of representation in the field, or other unmet needs. LAI pairs world-class composers with music students to create new musical compositions that will emphasize their unique strengths, interests, and/or cultural heritage. Students work one-on-one with their “mentor composer” and are given multiple community performance opportunities. Upon completion of the program, students record their pieces at a professional recording studio.

Altamura Legacy Concerts is a new concert series developed in 2023 by Altamura, featuring herself and a roster of guest artists performing on a newly restored 1924 Steinway B grand at Princeton United Methodist Church, home of the Tiffany stained-glass window depicting St. George that graces its façade. Concerts are on selected Sundays at 4 p.m. in the Sanford Davis Room of Princeton UMC.

Admission is $30, $10 for students, cash at the door or reserved seating by Eventbrite link. Visit legacyartsinternational.org for more information and the link.