On Saturday, June 10th at 4:00pm, the West Tisbury Library’s annual “Remembering the Rosenthals” concert will showcase collaborative pianist Diane Katzenberg Braun and musicians of the New England Conservatory in Boston. Braun, in collaboration with clarinetist Alexis Lanz, violinist I-Jung Huang, and cellist Jiyoung Lee will present “Musical Spice and Musical Soul.” This performance will include pieces by Vivaldi, Paganini, Arensky, Milhaud, Beethoven, and more. The “Remembering the Rosenthals” concert series is made possible by the generous support of Sara Rosenthal MD and Julie Prazich MD. Refreshments will be provided. No reservations necessary. This concert is free and open to the public.
"You brought my mother back to me!"
On Sunday, May 31 @ 4pm the West Tisbury Library’s annual “Remembering the Rosenthals” concert will showcase collaborative pianist Diane Katzenberg Braun and award winning past and present musicians of the New England Conservatory in Boston. Braun, in collaboration with violinist Daniel Koo, cellist Rainer Crosett, and clarinetist Amy Advocat will present “Musical Borrowings.” This performance will include pieces by Beethoven, Handel-Halvorsen, Bruch, Ravel, Bartok, and Piazzolla. The “Remembering the Rosenthals” concert series is made possible by the generous support of Sara Rosenthal MD and Julie Prazich MD. Tickets are free and available to the public but they must be reserved in advance due to space limitations. Call 693-3366 or stop by the library desk to reserve your tickets.
Diane Katzenberg Braun is a graduate of Oberlin College where she majored in Sociology after one year in the Oberlin Conservatory. After 25 years of teaching piano privately in Lincoln, MA and later at The Groton School and Indian Hill Arts, Ms. Braun earned her master’s degree with honors in 2001 in Collaborative Piano at New England Conservatory. For many years she assisted mezzo soprano D’Anna Fortunato in her studio as a vocal coach and accompanist. Currently an instrumental staff accompanist at New England Conservatory, she collaborates with some of the finest young musicians in the music world today and is at home with repertoire ranging from brass to winds to strings. Ms. Braun also enjoys performing new works of Boston area composers.
In the fall of 2013 Diane Katzenberg Braun founded Music Street, an organization that brings high level classical music performances to institutions or people in need as well as to musical lovers in general. In its "pianos to shelters" initiative Music Street finds quality pianos to donate to institutions for their performances by outstanding alumni and current students of the New England Conservatory. During the 2014-15 concert season Ms. Braun presented numerous themed salon concerts around Boston with soprano Bethany Worrell. In March 2014 the pair brought a Vocal Residency to the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School.In March 2015 they premiered a new song cycle by composer Thomas Oboe Lee at Boston College. In April 2015 Ms. Braun collaborated with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and baritone Jack Hornor in a program of Russian music.
“Music Street” brings sound to schools and shelters
Most year-round Islanders are resolved to the fact that while the summer affords multiple opportunities to enjoy performances by visiting artists, the off-season is a relatively quiet time for the arts.
This Friday, however, Vineyarders will have the chance to enjoy a vocal concert by two accomplished singers from Boston. An organization called “Music Street” will be hosting a public performance at the Performing Arts Center at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School on Friday morning at 11 am.
Two professional singers — soprano Bethany Worrell and tenor Sean Lair — will present a repertoire of music spanning the ages and genres. Accompanying them will be Diane Katzenberg Braun, a collaborative pianist for the New England Conservatory of Music. Through her affiliation with the acclaimed Boston music school, Ms. Braun has performed with and mentored a number of talented young musicians. The two that she has recruited for the Vineyard show are recent grads who have made names for themselves as singers on the national and international scene.
Bethany Worrell has performed as a soloist in Boston, Chicago, Malibu, Florence, Italy, and Salzburg, Austria, where she performed at the famed Schloss Mirabell Marble Hall. As a choral member, Ms. Worrell has also appeared at both Carnegie Hall in New York and Symphony Hall in Boston. Ms. Worrell has won a number of awards for her singing, both here and abroad. Commenting on her recent outing in Cosi Fan Tutte at Faneuil Hall, the Boston Music Intelligencer reported that Ms. Worrell “stole the show,” praising her “crisp voice and hilarious accents” and wrote, “Bethany Worrell has a gorgeous and flexible soprano that revealed a large measure of dramatic intelligence and musical acumen.”
Sean Lair has taken on roles in a number of classic operas and performed as vocalist for many chamber and symphony orchestras. He is also a champion of art song and plays the piano and organ. “He’s a very gifted musician,” says Ms. Braun, “He has a very, very clear tenor voice with beautiful diction.”
The Vineyard program, which Ms. Braun refers to as part of a “mini residency,” will include “English Art Song, operatic arias, a taste of the German tradition and some musical theater,” according to a press release. After the show, the three performers will be giving a master class to a few of the high school’s talented teen singers.
The program is a collaboration between Ms. Braun and Jan Wightman and Abigail Chandler of MVRHS.
Ms. Braun, who splits her time between her homes in Lincoln and Edgartown, is a member of the board of the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society, which is supporting and promoting the high school concert. “We’ve been talking about chamber music, about how to better fulfill our educational mission,” says Ms. Braun.
The event is an extension of Ms. Braun’s recently founded initiative “Pianos to Shelters,” which brings donated pianos to shelters, and hosts concerts with musicians from the Boston area.
Ms. Braun and her two singers have performed twice at Boston shelters. Both concerts were well received and, in both cases, inspired some audience participation.
“The first shelter was tiny,” Ms. Braun said. “It was a very stormy night. People were straggling in and about ten people sat down. We played ‘The Vagabond,’ and a man stood up and conducted us perfectly throughout the whole song.”
At the second concert, a larger audience enjoyed the show. “They were very enthusiastic,” Ms. Braun said. “We got them all to sing ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ and we heard a gorgeous mezzo voice from the back of the room. It was a woman who was a resident and also worked in the kitchen.”
Encouraged by the reception at the shelters, Ms. Braun hopes to bring her program to schools around the Boston area. The Vineyard performance will mark the first outing in a school setting.
Of the initiative Ms. Braun says, “It means a lot to all three of us. We’re very comfortable doing it, and we get a lot back from it.”