On the Road with Joanne Robinson: Show #239 Ocean City, NJ

Ocean City Music PierHello everyone! We’re back home in Boston after taping a show last week in Ocean City, New Jersey. The Music Pier, where the show was held, is located on a charming old-fashioned boardwalk teeming with amusement parks and overlooking a gorgeous stretch of beach. We rode the Ferris wheel, ate our fill of funnel cakes, and had a wonderful time taping our show as guests of the Ocean City Pops.

The show kicked off with 16-year-old violinist Amy Semes and the Ocean City Pops, under the direction of William Scheible, playing from Wienawski’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor, Op 14. Following that, Maestro Scheible, who also plays trumpet, joined 18-year-old Jacob Hernandez to play a movement from Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Trumpets. The Pops also treated the live audience to one of their traditional pieces – the Colonel Bogey March.

The second half of the show kicked off with the junior division gold medal winners from this year’s Fischoff Chamber Music competition, the Polaris Quartet. They joined Christopher O’Riley to play Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A major. Next up, 18-year-old pianist Kevin Sun expertly played Bach, and the show closed with 17-year-old cellist Austin Huntington performing from Beethoven’s Sonata No. 4 in C major, Op. 102.

You can hear this show on the air the week of November 14, but for now, enjoy this flipcam preview!


Alums Compete at International Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia

This past June two of our alums competed in the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Russia! Violinist Nigel Armstrong, who appeared on
Show 077 in 2003, was awarded fourth place in the violin category. 17-year-old cellist and Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Anna Litvinenko (Show 156 in 2007) was the youngest competitor in the cello contest and one of only three Americans.

Nigel Armstrong. Image from necmusic.edu

Nigel, who received a €5,000 prize, was also honored for “Best performance of the work written specially for the competition.” The work – John Corigliano’s STOMP – invited soloists to invent a step dance accompaniment and other bravura moves. Writes the composer: “So STOMP demands a theatrical mind, an unerring ear, and a delight in making music with the entire body.” Armstrong opted to perform a portion of the work with his instrument behind his back, arousing considerable comment. Read more about this on the New England Conservatory website.

In August, Anna joined Classical South Florida to celebrate the premier broadcast of From the Top on 89.7FM; she performed “Violoncello Totale” for delighted guests at the reception. Our program is being aired each Sunday on this station thanks to a generous grant by philanthropist Mary Short, President of the Mary Jane Harlow Charitable Trust. It’s wonderful to have people like Ms. Short support arts initiatives/programming like From the Top!

More information about From the Top on Classical South Florida.


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