DENVILLE, NJ -- Music concerts happen all over Morris County. Usually, they feature local bands playing covers of other musicians and few perform originals of rock n’ roll, jazz or country. But on Nov 16, Denville residents flocked to the Denville Community Church for an evening of classical music.

The show was part of the Classic Keys Concert Series, which features top musicians from New York City who bring the highest level of artistic excellence and build a deeper appreciation and understanding of classical music, such as Bach, Stravinsky, Mozart and Beethoven. The music series was founded by artistic director and classically-trained pianist Daniel Colalillo.

“As a Denville native, it’s time I bring classical music to New Jersey where I will be starting a concert series,” said Colalillo.

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“The season will feature piano recitals and chamber music concerts joined by top musicians from New York City who studied at Juilliard, Mannes, and Manhattan School of Music to name a few, and have performed with the best chamber music ensembles and orchestras around the world.”

Colalillo is a Manhattan-based classical pianist. A 2008 graduate of Morris Knolls High School, he went on to receive his master in music from Mannes School for Music in New York City.

As a soloist, Colalillo is known for delivering strong, commanding performances and unique interpretations with a depth of musical integrity. He has been lauded by the New York Times. He has given solo recitals at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Bargemusic, Symphony Space, Columbia University and Princeton University. He has performed in various cities, from Philadelphia, to San Francisco, Nashville, Toronto and Montreal among others.

Colalillo is also a recording music artist. He released his debut album, Mostly Scriabin, in 2017. 

Colalillo was not alone at the Nov 16 concert. Joining him on the church alter stage was professional violinist Amelia Dietrich, also from Manhattan.

Dietrich is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where she received her master’s degree under the tutelage of Ida Kavafian. Dietrich received her bachelors of music from Colburn Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Robert Lipsett. Since then, she has performed in series and venues throughout the U.S., Spain, Germany and Australia, such as the Four Seasons Music Festival, ClasClas Chamber Music Festival, Moritzburg Festival, Alice Tully Hall, New York’s National Sawdust, the Guggenheim, and Melbourne’s Mimir Festival.

Dietrich has performed alongside artists, such as Robert McDonald, Alessio Bax, Guy Braunstein, Ani Kavafian, Amihai Grosz, Steve Tenenbom, Roger Tapping, and Marc Coppey. She is a founding member of Juilliard’s honors string quartet, the Arte Quartet, recently featured on WQXR public radio.

At the Denville Community Church classical music concert, both Colalillo and Dietrich brought an arsenal of classic pieces, from the likes of Johannes Brahms, Bela Bartok, Gabriel Faure and Caroline Shaw.

“This concert is incredible,” said Peter Favilla, who came all the way from Green Village in Morristown to see the show.

“Daniel Colalillo has the ability to present the classics and make you feel you’re hearing it for the first time, and Amelia is a brilliant violinist who is able to produce an extreme amount of color from her instrument.”

Even local politicians, such Mayor Thomas Andes, came to the show.

“I wasn’t able to make the last show, but I’m very happy to make this one,” said Mayor Andes.

“You’re in for a great show. And these are two very talented people. So let’s have a good show!”

The next concert will on February 29, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., again featuring Colalillo, while teaming up with cellist Larry DiBello to perform works by Beethoven, Schumann and Prokofiev.


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