Strad for Lunch Series – Monday, December 21

Photo by ramella
Statue of Antonio Stradivari in Cremona, Italy

Every Monday at 12:30pm, WMP Concert Hall offers a 45 minute long chamber music concert to the public, and it is free admission with a suggested donation of $10.00. The idea of the concert series is to offer high quality music to their neighbors while they take their lunch break.

Monday, December 21 at 12:30pm
Violinists Paolo Alberghini and Bruno Peña, Violist Kristin Sawyer, Cellist Sokol Nikaj and Pianist Enika Gjokoreci

On Monday, December 21st at 12:30pm, violinists Paolo Alberghini & Bruno Peña, violist Kristin Sawyer, cellist Sokol NIkaj and pianist Enika Gjokoreci will perform a program featuring works by Elgar, Schumann and Beethoven.

Described by the New York Concert Review as “a fine, serious, conscientious violinist with a solid, disciplined technique, secure intonation and good facility”, Bruno Peña resides in New York, enjoying a diverse concertizing career. Performing in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Merkin Concert Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and Symphony Space, Mr. Peña has collaborated with the Harrisburg Symphony, Princeton Symphony, Dicapo Opera, Bachanalia, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Camerata of New York, New York Sinfonietta, New Philharmonic of New Jersey, among others. Since 2005, he has been a regularly featured soloist in concerts for the Permanent Representatives and Ambassadors of the United Nations, and in March 2006 was invited to perform a concert at Daj Hammarskjold Auditorium at the UN. Mr. Peña was a prize winner in the 2003 “Artist International Competition” in New York which rewarded him a debut recital at Merkin Hall in 2004. In 1999 he was awarded First Prize Performance in the “Amics de la Música” Competition, and a year later was finalist in the “Concurso Permanente de Juventudes Musicales” in Spain.

Born in Barcelona, Spain, he began his musical studies at the age of five with piano lessons and two years later started his violin studies with Wieslaw Rekucki at the Conservatory of Music “Eduardo Martinez Torner” in Oviedo. Soon after, Mr. Peña began his studies at the Superior Conservatory of Oviedo with his principal mentor, the violinist Alexei Michlin. He continued postgraduate studies at the Sweelinck Conservatorium of Amsterdam with Keiko Wataya and received his Master’s Degree from Mannes College of Music as a scholarship student of Nina Beilina and scholarship recipient of the financial institution Cajastur, in Spain. Bruno Peña has concertized in his native Spain, France, Portugal, Netherlands, United States and Mexico.

Violist, Kristin Sawyer is an active chamber musician, orchestral player and recitalist. She has performed throughout New York City’s finest concert halls, including Carnegie Hall’s Issac Stern Auditorium and Weill Recital Hall, Steinway Hall and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. In 2004 Ms. Sawyer toured as a chamber musician and soloist throughout Italy and Switzerland performing, among other works, Brahms’ Horn Trio and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Previously, she has performed with the New England Symphonic Ensemble, Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and Charlottesville Virginia Consort.

In May 2009, Ms. Sawyer graduated with a Master’s Degree in Performance from Mannes College where she served as principal violist with the Mannes Orchestra & the Mannes Opera Orchestra. While she primarily performs music of the classical genre, Ms. Sawyer occasionally performs with popular artists, recently making television appearances on The View, The Late Show with David Letterman, Monique & BET’s Rising Icons. In addition to her performance schedule, Ms. Sawyer is on the faculty of the Great Neck Arts Center and also maintains a private studio. Her principle teachers include Ira Weller, Daniel Phillips and Linda Sinanian.

Sokol Nikaj, cellist, was born in Tirana, Albania, where he received his first cello lesson at age 7. A first prize recipient at the National Cello Competition in Albania, Mr. Nikaj has also participated at summer festivals in Athens, Greece. Nikaj studied under Prof. Gjovalin Lazri in Artistic Lyceum “Jordan Misja” and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. It was in Germany that he performed in such venues as Eckelshausen Festival, Schott Verlag, Rathaus Mainz, and in Branderburger Tor and was a member of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie.

Since arriving in New York, Mr. Nikaj has appeared in chamber music concerts at Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Flushing Town Hall, and the Colden Center for the Performing Arts. He has performed as a guest cellist with the Corona Trio and was Goliard Concerts’ 2007 Herman De Jong Memorial Scholarship winner. Earning his Master’s Degree from Queens College in 2007, Mr. Nikaj was the winner of the Concerto Competition, performing the Haydn Cello Concerto in C major with the Queens College Symphony Orchestra. His principal teachers include Julius Berger in Germany and Marcy Rosen in New York.

Enika Gjokoreci, pianist, has over 20 years of teaching experience. After graduating from the Academy of Arts in Tirana, Albania, she began teaching applied piano and piano class at the Artistic Lyceum, a very highly regarded music school in her country. It was here that she also served as the school’s primary accompanist-playing her way through much of the standard repertoire for strings. Her piano students have gained acceptance into some of the most prestigious music schools throughout Europe and North America. In addition to her busy teaching schedule, Enika is an active soloist, accompanist and chamber musician.

Recitals in New York have brought her to venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Flushing Town Hall, Colden Center for the Performing Arts and Bronx Community College. Ms.Gjokoreci has recorded several live performances for the Albanian National Television including some with well known violinist, Tedi Papavrami. Enika is on the piano faculty at the Great Neck Arts Center and maintains a private studio of talented young pianists.

WMP Concert Hall is located at 31-33 East 28th Street, between Park and Madison. No food or beverages are permitted in the concert hall.

Future Shows:

Monday, January 4th @ 12:30:
Violinist Magdalena Garbalinska

Monday, January 11th @ 12:30:
Violinists Leo Adamov and Eliot Lawson

Monday, January 25th @ 12:30:
Cellist Clara Yang and pianist Joseph Liccardo

More Details and Source: WMP Concert Hall

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