Last week I attended an event at the Coral Gables Chamber in celebration of Women's History Month. The Chamber acknowledged the contributions and successes of women in business and their commitment to serve as role models and contributors to our community. As I was listening to the nominees' accomplishments, I could not help thinking about Loretta Dranoff, the woman who founded our organization. If she were alive, she would have been one of the women honored.
She was a musician, a wife, a mother, a mentor, a friend, a teacher. She understood the role of music in building community. When Dr. Ruth Greenfield started a lunchtime music series to take music outside into places where people congregated, Loretta was there. She worked with others in introducing musical instruments into public schools. And she created the Dranoff International 2 Piano Competition, one of the most rigorous and respected competitions for two piano chamber music. She helped forge career paths for hundreds and touched the lives of thousands. Her legacy carries forward in the concerts we present, the works we commission and the children we reach through Piano Slam, our educational performance program.
The February concert at the New World Center with Duo Turgeon brought people to their feet. Repeatedly! It was a joyful, emotional journey for us in the audience and, I dare say, for the artists on the stage. Manuel Valera's new piece Migrant Voyage, underwritten by Bacardi USA, was a wonderful addition, crossing genres between the known repertoire and his own jazz voice. I have added some photos, and Larry Budmen's review below.
Read more below about the upcoming Classical Classics concert with Duo d'Accord, Lucia Huang and Sebastian Euler, on March 22nd in Coral Gables, with music by Mozart, Bach, Prokofiev, Bennett and Liszt, and a world premiere of a piece by Keiko Fujiie.
Find out about this season's last public concert event on April 13th, Piano Slam 8. And find out where we are hosting the last in a series of kick-off parties, this at our partner Books & Books in Coral Gables. Scroll down for information.
It just makes me so happy to write this. EIGHT! Our Executive Director, Carlene Sawyer, had the dream of bringing the excellence of classical music performance into the lives of young people who have little or no access to this, but do so in a way that makes the experience relevant to them. So she persisted, built, tweaked, learned and adjusted the concept together with a group of incredible partners. Today's reality: this program has brought classical music to 60,000 teenagers in their schools; it has encouraged close to 7,000 young people to write about things that matter to them in poems inspired by music and enter them into a competition; it has brought 100 teens on the stage to have their voices heard. As I write this, the next group of students are composing their poems and soon we will be able to see the finalists on stage of the Arsht Center.
You will be touched by the power of the young poets who perform their works as part of the music ensemble around pianists Maarten Van Veen and Bobby Mitchell. Please help support this transformational program by buying VIP tickets. Scroll down to see more.
I look forward to see you this month, and next!
President, Dranoff Board