Artwork by Suzanne LaFleur

Masters of Music Take Center Stage At Studio Soirée

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A highly anticipated feature at Suzanne’s soirées has been the special performances by major talents in music. Suzanne’s idea of including live entertainment as part of the evening was inspired by classical pianist Aldan Gatt’s surprise sit-down at the piano early this year.  The last two gatherings showcased this same artistry and skill.  In March, opera singer Elena Mindlina mesmerized guests with her exquisite voice as pianist Craig Ketter accompanied her on piano.  The featured performers at the early April soirée were violinist Artur Kaganovskiy and violist Eszter Szilveszter.  The married couple played duets for a captivated crowd.  This evening was particularly important as everyone was there to toast Suzanne’s recent honoring of the Flora Giffuni Memorial Award for Pastel at the 114th Annual Exhibiting Artist Members’ Exhibition presented by the National Arts Club.  Now let’s meet the featured artists.

Elena Mindlina

First up is Elena Mindlina, a young opera singer from Russia who came to New York in 2006 to study Musical Theatre at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Manhattan.  Elena has a diverse background and training in music.  She holds a Master’s degree in violin from Saratov State Conservatory, and in 2010, she received her Master’s degree in voice from the State University of New York at Stony Brook where she is currently finishing her Doctorate.  Since arriving to New York, Elena’s career has been peppered with highlights including: a Broadway debut performance at New York Town Hall and a performance at Symphony Space were met with standing ovations; a standout performance as Alessandro in the New York premier of Cavalli’s Eliogabalo with the Stony Brook Opera; and performances as a soloist and ensemble member for the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater Company.  Most recently, Elena’s appearances have been based in New York City in venues that include Lincoln Center’s Merkin Hall, One Liberty Plaza, and Allegro Pianos. She is currently working on a CD project with Dr. David Witten titled Vocal Music of Nicolai Tcherepnin.  Their collaboration will bring them to the Moscow State Conservatory (Rachmaninov Hall) in September 2013 when they are scheduled to give the recital Nikolai Tcherepnin and His Contemporaries.

At Suzanne’s studio, Elena drew inspiration from the artwork and ambiance felt on that particular evening in March.  She sang art songs by Russian composer Nikolai Tcherepnin and operatic arias from La Bohème by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini.  Craig Ketter plays piano alongside, creating a performance that left an unforgettable impression on the entire room.

Here are photos of the evening’s guests.

Artur Kaganovskiy and Eszter Szilveszter

Born in Moscow, Russia, Artur Kaganovskiy exhibited exceptional talent at the violin at the young age of four.  He appeared in many concerts and television programs as a child.  In 1992, he immigrated to the United States with his family.  While studying at the Manhattan School of Music, Artur received more than 20 awards and scholarships including the Five Towns Competition.  His professional music career continues to be marked with achievements including: appearances in the National Arts Center Young Artist Festival Program in Ottawa, Canada; performances with Pinchas Zukerman, Michael Tree, Mark Peskanov, Rami Solomonow and members of the Cassatt String Quartet; touring with the Julliard Orchestra while pursuing a Bachelor degree at the Julliard School; concerts at the Bruno Walter Hall in NYC, Paul Hall at Julliard, and Teaneck Hall in New Jersey; a debut in the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall where he performed the E. Elgar Violin Concerto in B minor with the retired members of the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; selection as a finalist in the Brahms International Violin Competition; first place winner of the Waldo Mayo International Violin Competition; and a performance with the Chelsea Symphony Orchestra.  Most recently, Artur was awarded the prestigious Fritz Kreisler Scholarship, the H. Gilbert Family Scholarship, and the Joseph Fuchs Scholarship at the Juilliard School.

The soirée on April 3rd was particularly special.  At this gathering, Artur and  his wife Eszter Szilveszter delighted guests with an intimate performance on strings.

And here are photos from the memorable evening.

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