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Chiharu Naruse to present special piano series

Concert artist and teacher Chiharu Naruse performs at the Gendron Franco Center, 46 Cedar Street, Lewiston, at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 6. This 3rd recital in the 2019-2020 Piano Series season will highlight her interest in bringing live classical music to young listeners.  During the first half of the program Naruse will feature works by Liszt, Ravel, and Chopin that will appeal to school age children as well as adults.  She will also perform a composition by a former pupil, 9-year-old Quinn Brennan, prizewinner in the 2020 Golden Key Piano Composition Competition.  Following intermission, the artist will perform Schumann’s Kreisleriana.

Praised for her keyboard talents in her native Japan, Chiharu Naruse went on to study in Germany with Klaus Baessler and received master’s degrees in music performance and in music instruction from the Hochschule für Musik “Hans Eisler” in Berlin, where she also studied lied accompaniment under Wolfram Riegar.  In 2002, she came to the United States to study with the late Frank Glazer, renowned pianist and teacher. 

In addition to making her solo appearances, she is a well-respected chamber music player and coach, teacher, and juror at music competitions.  Since her critically acclaimed Franco Center debut in December 2006, she has given solo recitals and appeared with chamber groups in Europe and Japan, as well as here in Maine, including appearances at Bates College, Gould Academy, the University of Maine at Augusta, and the Ocean Park Music Festival.  In 2016, she performed at the Bowdoin College Klavierfest celebrating Elliott Schwartz’s 80th birthday, and played a program devoted to Lera Auerbach’s 24 Preludes for Piano to a full house at the Bates College Museum of Art.

An engaging chamber musician, she has performed with cellists James Kennedy and Benjamin and Joel Noyes and violinist Dean Stein.  She has appeared with the Portland String Quartet, the Daponte String Quartet, and Venti Cordi and, as concerto soloist, with the Augusta Symphony Orchestra and the Maine Promusica Orchestra.  Last September, accompanied by James Kennerley on Merrill Auditorium’s Kotzschmar organ, she performed Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2. She has also been part of the Massachusetts Suzuki Festival at the New England Conservatory.  In addition to holding her private studio, Naruse teaches at Bates College and the Portland Conservatory.  She lives in Gray with her husband, two growing children, and a menagerie of animals, including several chickens.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the Box Office, calling 689-2000 or online at francocenter.org. Students are admitted at no charge to all Piano Series events, and for this recital, adults accompanying students will also be admitted at no charge. 

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