On Friday, November 14 at 7:30 p.m. the Concerts on Main series returned to Ogden Memorial Presbyterian Church (286 Main Street, Chatham, NJ) with a free performance by pianist Sakura Myers. Engaging for listeners of all ages. Ms. Myers’ hour-long, interactive program, CLASSICAL to CONTEMPORARY, features music by Pärt, Ravel, Scarlatti, concert arrangements of Spirituals, and more. Ms. Myers will play both virtuosic and introspective classical selections as well as undulating, jazz-influenced romantic and contemporary pieces.
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Pianist Sakura Myers has captivated audiences in such venues as Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Steinway Hall, and the Goethe Institute. She is known for her “hands of steel” (Dr. Cornell West) plus innovative programming that cross-pollinates varying musical styles. Her additional highlights include performances for the inaugural season of The Colour of Music Festival in Charleston, SC, opening for the Three Mo’ Tenors, and playing for the Fashion Week debut of designer Nzinga Knight. Ms. Myers has been featured at Union Theological Society, Miami Dade College, and the Women of Classical Music Gala at the NANM national convention in Nashville. She was a Resident Artist/guest lecturer at North Carolina Central University and has also presented solo recitals at the College of Charleston, Piccolo Spoleto Festival USA, Teatro Piu Piccolo della Concordia, and several music salons in New York City.
Ms. Myers orchestral performances include collaborations with conductors Mark Laycock, Enrico Marconi, and Ricardo Muti plus the College of Charleston Symphony, the Charleston Chamber Orchestra and, most recently, her debut with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performing Bach’s Concerto for Four Keyboards.
Critics have shared that “there is clearly something distinct – almost novel – in the way she communicates with and through the keyboard. Be it with pristine delicacy or commanding force, she utters her own style of expression, and it is fun to watch as well as listen to” (Charleston Today).
A native New Yorker, Ms. Myers was featured on Good Morning America as a two-time national gold medal winner of the NAACP’s ACTO-SO competition (classical instrumental category). Her awards also include second place in the Josef Suk International Piano Competition in Prague and winner of the Rising Star Award from the Thomas Study Music Guild. As an actor she can be seen alongside Clarke Peters and Colman Domingo in Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer.
After beginning undergraduate studies at Spelman College, she finished her Bachelor of Music degree at the College of Charleston as a student of Enrique Graf, and later obtained her Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Philip Kawin. Ms. Myers has also studied at Spain’s Gijón International Piano Festival and with Paul Badura-Skoda, Robert Durso, and Andrei Gavrilov.
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The Concerts on Main series continues in 2015 on Sunday, January 11 at 2 p.m. and Friday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. In January trumpeter Andy Kozar is joined by keyboardists and singers to share contemporary works plus accessible classics.
Free and open to all, hour-long Concerts on Main are held in Ogden Memorial Presbyterian Church’s historic and acoustically-engaging sanctuary. Audiences of all ages are invited to enjoy stellar NJ and NYC professionals sharing a variety of musical genres. As needed, younger listeners can take advantage of a nearby indoor playspace during the concerts. Ogden is located a block from Chatham’s train station, with easy and fast NYC access; there is ample free parking in the vicinity of the church.