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Texas State International Piano Festival to host NPR's 'From the Top'

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
May 13, 2013

International Piano Festival

The 4th annual International Piano Festival, to be held June1-9 at Texas State University, will this year host a broadcast of the National Public Radio program "From the Top."

"From the Top," a weekly showcase for young musicians will tape a broadcast in Evans Auditorium 7:30 p.m. June 8. The popular NPR program, hosted by acclaimed pianist Christopher O'Riley, will feature the performances and personal stories of extraordinary young classical musicians from across the country.

“We are proud and excited to host the famed NPR show ‘From the Top’ as part of the Texas State International Piano Festival,” said Jason Kwak, an associate professor of piano at Texas State and an organizer of the event. “Further, we are equally proud to feature many of the talented students from the festival as artists on the show.”

The show will feature several students who are participants in the Texas State International Piano Festival. 16-year-old pianist Elbert Gong from Belle Mead, New Jersey, will perform "Ondine" from Gaspard de la Nuit by Maurice Ravel. The Festival Duo, made up of pianists J.T. Hassell, 16 years old from Amarillo and Melvina Kuoshu, 14 years old from Greer, South Carolina, will perform Scaramouche, Suite for Two Pianos, by Darius Milhaud. Four festival students – 23-year-old Jenny Park, 18-year-old Martin Kesuma, 14-year-old Eunice Lee, and 15-year-old Helen Nebeker, along with host Christopher O’Riley – will perform an arrangement of Stars and Stripes Forever for five pianos by Texas’ own Peter Petroff.

The show will also feature 12-year-old composer and pianist JP Redmond from Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, whose original composition “Three Poems to Sing” will be performed by From the Top alum, Kara Sainz, mezzo-soprano. Boston-based Brioso Trio, featuring 11-year-old violinist Hannah Ryu, 12-year-old cellist Evan Hsu, and 13-year-old pianist Andrew Li, will perform the first movement from the Piano Trio in C major by Franz Joseph Haydn.

For tickets and information visit www.finearts.txstate.edu. "From the Top" may be heard locally on Classically Austin, KMFA 89.5 FM on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. and also on Texas Public Radio on Saturdays at 6:30 a.m.. This episode will air in the autumn of 2013.