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Franco Center Piano Series opens with free Frank Glazer tribute

Ksenia Kostelanetz studied with Glazer while spending summers with her family in Maine.

Pianist Ksenia Kostelanetz will present the fourth annual “Frank Glazer Memorial Steinway Concert” at the Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston on Thursday, August 23 at 7 p.m. Free and open to the public, this special program will open the 18th annual Piano Series season at the center, whose magnificent performance hall now houses two donated Steinway grand pianos.

Kostelanetz will perform pieces by Schubert (Impromptu Op. 142 No. 3, Musical Moment No. 3, his Liszt Ave Maria Serenade, and Der Muller und der Bach) and Chopin (Barcarolle, Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturne Op. 72 No. 1, and C# Minor Nocturne Etude Op. 25 No. 1).

Glazer, who played the first concert on the center’s Steinway piano in 2006 and returned every year to present solo concerts, died in January of 2015, just weeks shy of his 100th birthday. Kostelanetz, whose family spends summers in Greene, was his youngest student.

Kostelanetz is only 17 years old, but to hear her play classical music on the piano, one might think they were listening to a seasoned virtuoso. She was born in Indianapolis to a musical family of immigrants from St. Petersburg, Russia. Her family now resides permanently in Wisconsin.

Among the musicians in Kostelanetz’s family was the renowned conductor, Andre Kostelanetz, best known to modern audiences for a series of easy listening instrumental albums on Columbia Records from the 1940s until 1980. In the 1920s, he conducted concerts for radio. In the 1930s, he began his own weekly show on CBS, “Andre Kostelanetz Presents.”

Ksenia, who began her piano lessons at age four, has studied with Sue Medford, Glazer, Chiharu Naruse and Stephen Swedish. She has had master classes with concert pianists Andre-Michel Schub and Alan Feinberg. Fluent in French and Russian, she has attended school in France and visited France and Russia several times. She will attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the fall and plans to become a neonatologist.

“We will once again present this season-opening performance as a gift to the community and hope that everyone will attend,” said Franco Center Executive Director Mitchell Clyde Thomas. “Ksenia is a very special friend to the Franco Center and we are thrilled that she is willing to help us remember another great friend, Mr. Glazer.” The doors and bar will open at 6 p.m.

The Franco Center is located at 46 Cedar Street in the Little Canada section of Lewiston, just across the Lown Peace Bridge from New Auburn. For more information, call 783-1585.

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