Calendar

Mar
22
Fri
Fourth Friday Concert Series – Friday, March 22nd, 7:30PM @ Ruggero Piano
Mar 22 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Click Here for Livestream Link!



Performer Bio

Czech pianist Kristina Henckel and Cuban pianist Amanda Virelles formed 4HANDS Piano Duo in 2019. Their duo repertoire includes master pieces from the Classical, Romantic and 20th century periods. Both pianists started performing careers in their countries of origin, and completed doctoral degrees in piano performance and pedagogy in the United States. Currently, both Kristina and Amanda hold faculty positions in North Carolina, at Sandhills Community College and Fayetteville State University.

Dr. Kristina Henckel, an accomplished pianist and teacher, is a native of the Czech Republic. She is a graduate of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, under the tutelage of Professor Peter Toperczer. During her study she received several awards in competitions held in the Czech Republic: third prize in the Chopin Piano Competition and Smetana International Piano Competition, and first prize in the National Piano Competition of Conservatories, including an award for best performance of Antonín Dvořák’s composition. At 18 Kristina debuted with Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5 Op. 73 “Emperor” with the Hradec Králové Philharmonic Orchestra. She further collaborated as a soloist with other regional orchestras in the Czech Republic.

After relocating to the United States in 1999, Kristina continued her studies by earning a doctorate in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma. In Oklahoma she acquired additional awards for her performances: first prize in the Donna Turner-Smith Piano Competition and first prize at the Graduate Concerto Competition 2012. In addition, her dissertation “Pianistic Analysis of Bedřich Smetana’s Piano Cycle Dreams” was nominated for the University of Oklahoma Provost’s Dissertation Prize 2016.

Kristina has performed numerous solo and collaborative recitals in Europe and United States. She also made several recordings for Radio Vltava, Czech Republic. In the fall of 2015 she became a Ritmüller piano artist. In May 2016, she released a CD with the piano trio Turnía featuring the piano trios of Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana. In April 2016 the ensemble was featured on the radio show Northwest Focus on King FM 98.1 in Seattle, WA. Kristina is also a member of the 4HANDS Piano Duo with Cuban-American pianist Amanda Virelles.

Currently she serves as music faculty at Fayetteville State University and Sandhills Community College in North Carolina.

Amanda Virelles has played for audiences around the world captivating them with her unique sound and deep interpretations. Her performances have been described as sensible, profound, and energetic. She has performed as a soloist as well as collaborative artist throughout the United States, Europe, South and Central America and the Caribbean.

Amanda began her piano studies in Cuba with Emilio Morales, and later with Serguei Leschenko, continued with Heirinch Neuhaus’ protegé Margarita Fyodorova at Moscow State Conservatory Tchaikovsky, and received her Master of Fine Arts Degree from the Russian Academy of Music Gnessins in Moscow, Russia, under the guidance of Inna Malinina, former disciple of Alexander Goldenwieser. Virelles also holds a Master Degree and a Doctoral Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Southern Mississippi, where she received both a full assistantship and a fellowship as the winner of the Doctoral Assistantship Competition. While at USM, Amanda was a student of Dr. Lois Leventhal.

After winning First Prize and an Special Prize for best Cuban and Latin-American music performance in the “Amadeo Roldan” Piano Competition, in Cuba, she was given a full scholarship to study in Russia. She appeared as a soloist with several orchestras in Europe and South America under the direction of renowned conductors such as Yoshikatsu Fukumura, Mikhail Shervakov, Dmitir Manolov, Fillipo Zigante, Kimbo Ishii – Eto, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya. She was a featured winner of the William T. Gower Concerto Competition with the USM Symphony Orchestra under conductor Jay Dean. She has also performed under the baton of Raul Munguia and Alejandro Drago.

As a pedagogue Dr. Virelles has served as an Associate Professor of Music at Universidad del Atlántico in Colombia, in the fields of classical piano, theory, and chamber music from 1997 to 2003. Previously, she was on the piano faculty at the Conservatorio Nacional in Lima, Peru. Since her arrival to the United States, she has also served at Lane College, Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music and at the School of Music of Belmont University. Currently, Dr. Virelles is an Associate Professor of Music at Fayetteville State University, in Fayetteville, North Carolina and teaches piano at Fayetteville School of Music

Amanda is an avid performer of chamber music and plays regularly with “Duo Guitiano” with Colombian-American guitarist Carlos Castilla and 4HANDS Piano Duo, with Czech pianist Kristina Henckel. Her solo and duo recordings are available in digital platforms.


Founded in June, 2003, the Fourth Friday Concert Series, formerly know as the 4th Friday Mix, stands as one of our area’s longest-running concert series. We remain committed to providing free and inclusive concerts that welcome musicians with a passion for sharing their talents. All attendees, including children capable of listening attentively, are warmly welcomed. Fourth Friday Concerts typically feature 2-4 performers or performance groups, although special occasions may showcase a single performer or group for the entire concert. 

Apr
26
Fri
Fourth Friday Concert Series – Friday, April 26th, 2024, 7:30PM @ Ruggero Piano
Apr 26 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Click here for live stream!

Performer Bios

Andrew Wood, 18, graduated from Enloe High School with the International Baccalaureate Diploma last spring (2023). He is currently completing a gap year of intense preparation for a college degree in piano performance. Andrew has given solo recitals at Meredith College, Saint Mary’s School, and at private residences and retirement communities in Raleigh and Winston-Salem. As part of his study last summer at Krakow Piano, he performed in group recitals across Poland at Dębno Castle, Liszt Hall at Hotel Saski in Krakow, and Fazioli Concert Hall at the School of Music of Jastrzębie Zdrój. In addition to his study at Krakow, Andrew has studied in summer programs at the New Orleans Piano Institute and the Eastern Music Festival. Now in his second and final year with the North Carolina Chamber Music Institute, Andrew has been a member of two piano quartets. Currently he has serves as collaborative pianist for the Enloe High School Choral Department, and volunteers by teaching conducting, music theory, and choral music at Enloe. Andrew has won and received honors in local festivals and competitions such as the Young Artist Auditions, NC Music Teachers Association, and the Raleigh Piano Teachers Association Scholarship. He has placed twice in the Music Teachers National Association Competition, Senior Division. Andrew thanks his family and his teacher, Dr. Margaret Evans, for their support and for providing many wonderful opportunities.

Hrishikesh Ram (Hrishi) is a piano student of Dr. Olga Kleiankina of NC State University, and is pursuing chemical engineering and chemistry as a first-year undergraduate student. He previously was a student of Mr. John Herrmann of Durham, NC, and is also coached by Ms. Elizabeth Beilman of the NC Symphony in chamber music, as a member of the Tre Voce Piano Trio, North Carolina Chamber Music Institute. Hrishi has won prizes at the national, regional and international level in both solo piano and chamber music.

 

Fifteen-year-old Benjamin Luo, a ninth grader who hails from Apex, North Carolina, began his piano study with Florence Ko at age five. Since then, he has garnered first-prize awards in a myriad of piano competitions at state, national, and international levels. Benjamin has been the first-place winner in the Music Teacher National Association (MTNA) Piano Competition in both Junior and Senior Solo categories in the state round for five consecutive years, beginning in 2019. He was also a two-time MTNA Junior Piano National Finalist. In addition, along with his brother Brandon, Benjamin placed second nationally in the 2022-2023 MTNA Senior Piano Duet Competition, following a first-place win in the state and divisional rounds. Benjamin has performed with several orchestras after winning concerto competitions, including the Hampton Roads Philharmonic, the Chapel Hill Philharmonic, and the Tar River Orchestra. Recently, Benjamin played the full Rachmaninoff No. 2 Piano Concerto with the Long Bay Symphony of South Carolina.

Anastacy Golovidov is a sophomore at North Carolina State University pursuing her Bachelor in Graphic & Experience Design along with a minor in Music with Dr. Olga Kleiankina. She began her piano study with Olga Urick and at age six entered her first competition. From 2011-2017 she earned several 1st place, 2nd place, and Honorable Mention awards at the Young Artist Audition piano competition. Her achievements include multiple North Carolina Music Teachers Association and North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs district awards. In 2018 she received 2nd place at the Elizabeth Bullard competition. In 2019 she won first place at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts piano weekend festival. Her most recent awards include 2nd place in Young Artist Audition piano competition in 2021, 1st place at NCFMC Royalty 2022 and she is a CAPTA Scholarship Competition award recipient for College Minor in Music.

Sam Prochnau is a sophomore at North Carolina State University studying aerospace engineering with a minor in piano performance. Sam has played piano for 14 years, studying first under Irene Fix and currently under Dr. Olga Kleiankina. As a soloist, Sam has experience performing recitals in both North Carolina and his home state of Pennsylvania, and has performed in numerous masterclasses with distinguished piano professors from across the country. Sam also enjoys accompanying, reaching the 2022 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) All-State choir conference, accompanying the Raleigh Civic Chamber Orchestra, as well as playing with various other ensembles and soloists. Outside of music, Sam plays club ultimate frisbee for NC State, enjoys hiking, and is a member of NC State’s Design Build Fly aerospace engineering club.

Brandon Luo, 17, is an eleventh grader from Apex, NC, who began his piano study with Florence Ko at age five. Since then, he has competed in numerous piano competitions and has won many competition awards, including first place in North Carolina Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Senior and Junior Piano Competitions, East Carolina University Young Artist Piano Competition, Hayes School of Music Piano Competition, United States International Music Competition, Great Masters International Piano Competition, American Protégé International Music Talent Competition, Charles F.T. Nakarai Piano Competition, RPTA Scholarship Competition, RPTA Young Artist Audition, as well as the State Royalty Competitions, NC Federation of Music Clubs State Scholarship Competition “Mary Davis Memorial Award”, “Maxine Taylor Fountain Award”, “NCFMC Past Presidents Award”, and “Thursday Morning Music Club Of Winston-Salem Award.” Brandon, along with his brother Benjamin, placed second nationally in the 2022-2023 MTNA Senior Piano Duet Competition, after winning first place in the state and divisional rounds. Recently, Brandon received first place in the RPTA Young Artist Auditions Concerto Competition and Federation of Music Clubs Competition “Estelle Brady Senior Piano Concerto Award”.


Founded in June, 2003, the Fourth Friday Concert Series, formerly know as the 4th Friday Mix, stands as one of our area’s longest-running concert series. We remain committed to providing free and inclusive concerts that welcome musicians with a passion for sharing their talents. All attendees, including children capable of listening attentively, are warmly welcomed. Fourth Friday Concerts typically feature 2-4 performers or performance groups, although special occasions may showcase a single performer or group for the entire concert. 

May
14
Tue
Solomon Eichner in Concert @ Ruggero Piano
May 14 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Performer Bio

Consistently in demand on the concert stage, Polish-American Concert Pianist Solomon Eichner has garnered international acclaim with performances in England, Italy, Germany, Poland, Austria and throughout the U.S.  Declared by the American Liszt Society as “A sensitive pianist, Solomon’s playing is poetic, beautiful and moving with deep feeling”, “A young Arthur Rubinstein”.

In the 2023 season commemorating Rachmaninoff’s 150th birthday, Solomon performed many concerts showcasing the composer at various universities and concert series from San Francisco to Sarasota to Southampton.

An avid chamber musician, Solomon debuted on the 2023 Newport Music Festival, Rhode Island with Cellist Amit Peled.

Solomon performed in the 2022 season with the North Carolina Symphony, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto under Conductor Christoph Koenig.  In 2021 Solomon debuted with the NC Symphony playing Saint Saens Carnival of the Animals.

Sponsored by the March of the Living Foundation, Solomon performed for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz at the Krakow Philharmonic Hall, Jewish Cultural Center and at Auschwitz in front of a crowd of 20,000 people.

Solomon has performed concertos with conductors Uriel Segal – Grieg; John Gordon Ross – Rachmaninoff 3rd; Mark Peterson – Liszt 1 and Chopin 2; David Hagy – Mendlessohn 1; Michelle Di Russo – Saint Saens Carnival of Animals; Tonu Kalam – Beethoven Triple; and appeared with George Mariner Maull on his Discovery Orchestra series. Orchestras Solomon has performed with include NC, Salisbury, Western Piedmont, Wilson, UNC, Discovery, Alicante Spain.

Solomon is a prizewinner of the Liszt-Garrison International Competition, International Young Artists Competition Washington D.C., GoldenKey Carnegie Hall Debut Competition and Miami Music Festival Concerto Competition.

Music Festivals Solomon has performed in include Perugia Italy, Pianofest in the Hamptons, Montecito California, Atlantic Maine, American Fine Arts Festival in Austria, SUNY New Paltz, IKIF Mannes.

Concert series Solomon has recently performed on include Artist Series Sarasota, Noontime Concerts Old St. Marys Cathedral San Francisco, Parrish Museum Water Mill, Community Concerts at 2nd Baltimore, St. Paul’s Church Augusta with Violinist Brian Reagin, Chamber Music Raleigh, Cary Page-Walker House, Paderewski Festival, University of Tampa Sykes Chapel, Tribby Arts Center Ft. Myers, Polish Embassy D.C, Temple Longboat Key, First Presbyterian Naples, Yale Gordon Trust, National City Church D.C, Music in the Great Hall, Bower Chapel Trinity by the Cove, Weymouth Arts Center, Pamlico Music Society, among others.

Originally from Baltimore, Solomon graduated from the Manhattan School of Music and Peabody Conservatory. When not concertizing, Solomon maintains a faculty position for the North Carolina Chamber Music Institute. Currently Solomon resides in Chapel Hill with his wife.

Website: www.solomoneichnerpianist.com

Jun
28
Fri
Fourth Friday Concert Series – Friday, June 28th, 2024, 7:30PM @ Ruggero Piano
Jun 28 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Click here for livestream!

Performer Bios

Born in NYC, New York and based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Alain Arvelo studied voice at Mars Hill University under Dr. Joel Reed. After graduating from Mars Hill University in 2016, Alain has focused on primarily recital and private performances. He now studies privately under Raoul Simon Düsterhaus. Armed with a precocious talent, a bottomless curiosity and an inexhaustible tenacity, Alain has been performing operatic repertoire and recitals since the age of 14. Alain has performed scenes from: Cosi fan tutte, L’elisir d’amore, Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, Werther, Manon, Rigoletto, Roméo et Juliette, La Traviata & Lucia di lammermoor.

Minseong Joo, 18, was born in South Korea, and he currently lives in Cary, North Carolina. He began learning the piano at the age of twelve under Dr. Moon Choi. He has won several awards which include: 1st place in Raleigh Piano Teachers Association Competition, 1st place at the ECU Piano Competition, 1st at the UNCSA Competition and 1st at RPTA Concerto Competition. He has also performed in many venues such as A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall at ECU, Carswell Concert Hall at Meredith College, and many more. He was a participant at the ECU Piano Festival and the Vivace Music Festival, and has performed in masterclasses with many renowned artists, including Sean Chen, Christopher Guzman, Yakov Kasman, Alexander Kobrin, Meng-Chieh Liu, Marina Lomazov, Jerome Lowenthal, John O’Conor, and Victor Rosenbaum. He is also a founder of the Music Cures All non-profit organization and has performed at several senior centers and other organizations as charity events. In addition to his piano studies, he enjoys watching movies, reading books, playing sports, and spending time with family and friends.


Founded in June, 2003, the Fourth Friday Concert Series, formerly know as the 4th Friday Mix, stands as one of our area’s longest-running concert series. We remain committed to providing free and inclusive concerts that welcome musicians with a passion for sharing their talents. All attendees, including children capable of listening attentively, are warmly welcomed. Fourth Friday Concerts typically feature 2-4 performers or performance groups, although special occasions may showcase a single performer or group for the entire concert. 

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