Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Connecticut Arts Connections

The 2013 Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition will be presented by the Connecticut Alliance for Music (CAM) with the support of the Westport Arts Center, on Saturday and Sunday, November 23 and 24, at Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue. The media sponsor is WSHU.

Now celebrating its 42nd year, the bi-annual event is named for the late Heida Hermanns, an acclaimed concert pianist who lived in Westport with her husband Arthur for more than 40 years. 

The goal of the competition is to give support to young musicians, aged 19 through 35, in the early stages of their professional careers. Past winners include pianists Frederic Chiu and Christopher O’Reilly.

From audition CDs submitted by university and conservatory music students and alumni world-wide, 16 semi-finalists have been chosen to compete on Saturday, November 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. Admission to the semi-finals is free-of-charge and open to the public. Competitors will perform throughout the day for 20 minutes each. Audience members are free to come and go.

At the end of the day, judges will select six pianists to move on to the Sunday finals, November 24, 2 to 5 p.m. The contestants will vie for cash prizes of more than $10,000 – first prize, $5,000; second prize, $2,500; third prize, $1,500; and three honorable mentions, $500 each.

The finalists will each perform a program selected by the judges to demonstrate musical virtuosity and skill. At the conclusion of the performances, the audience will be invited to a reception while the judges determine the winners. Tickets to Sunday’s finals are $20 for adults; free for ages 18 and younger.

The Honorary Chair of the competition is Yue Chu, who was the first prize winner of the 2011 Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition. He attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston on a full scholarship, and was the first undergraduate student to receive the Presidential Scholarship in two consecutive school years. Yue Chu has been in worldwide competitions and music festivals. He is currently attending the Artist Diploma program at Yale University of Music. 

For more information, visit http://camusic.org/cam-programs/heida-hermanns-international-competition/ For tickets, call the Westport Arts Center at 203-222-7070, M – F, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or purchase online at westportartscenter.org.

Show savings and discounts are taking center stage this Black Friday through Cyber Monday at the Palace Theater in Waterbury. Tickets, Palace gift certificates, and gift certificates to a variety of local restaurants participating in the theater’s EntrĂ©es & Encores program are available for everyone’s one-stop holiday shopping needs and can be purchased by phone at 203-346-2000, online at www.palacetheaterct.org, or in person at the Box Office, 100 East Main Street in Waterbury.

On Black Friday, November 29, the Box Office will open from 10a.m. to 10p.m. and will offer a twenty-percent discount on remaining seats to the Webster Broadway Series presentations of American Idiot (February 16), Rock of Ages (March 21 & 21), Hair (May 2-4), and Million Dollar Quartet (June 6-8). The limited time discount is available through Cyber Monday, December 2, and does not include processing fees. Some restrictions may apply.

The Box Office is also offering an exclusive one-day-only sale on Black Friday for the theater’s holiday presentation of Tony Orlando’s Great American Christmas on Thursday, December 5. A limited number of $20 orchestra tickets will be available for the first 20 people, who purchase tickets to the show by phone or in person at the Box Office. After the first 20 seats are sold, the Palace will offer a twenty-percent discount on all remaining orchestra seats throughout the day.

For more information, contact the Box Office at 203-346-2000.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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