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Imagine yourself in an intimate place, absorbing the glorious sound of music or laughing to the
comedian’s antics while surrounded by the inspiring colors and forms of works of art!
The Heinz W. Otto Gallery has 12-foot ceilings, superb acoustics, and a seating capacity of 100.

Classicals at the Circle

"Piano Celebration"

Min Kwon and Young Artists from

the Center for Musical Excellence

Saturday, February 13 2016, 4p.m.


The Watchung Arts Center is pleased to present a unique arts experience featuring internationally renowned pianist Min Kwon in concert, and artist David Dubal in the opening of a solo Art Exhibition of paintings and line drawings. This special event will be held on Saturday, February 13, at 4 PM. Ms. Kwon will be joined by highly accomplished pianists from the Center for Musical Excellence (CME), Performing with Ms. Kwon will be CME artists Ming Xie, Carl Patrick Bolleia, Erickson Rojas, and Reed Tetzloff. performing solo and ensemble works including four and six-hand arrangements from their debut recording “Piano Celebration”. Light refreshments will be served at the Reception.

A Steinway Artist, pianist Min Kwon is in demand around the world as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher. A graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music (BM), The Juilliard School (MM & DMA), and Mozarteum in Salzburg (post-doc), her professional engagements have taken her to over 60 countries on seven continents and to all 50 states in the US. Recent performance highlights include critically acclaimed solo recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in New York and at Steinway Halls in London and Sydney.

Ms. Kwon has appeared as a soloist under James Conlon, Alan Gilbert, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and, as a chamber musician, with the principal players of New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Czech Philharmonic and many other distinguished artists. With her sister, violinist Yoon Kwon, she has given over 200 joint recitals throughout the United States under the auspices of CAMI, and has recorded for BMG/RCA Red Seal. Her solo album of Schubert and Liszt (MSR Classics) earned a Grammy Award for Best Producer of the Year (David Frost) in 2009.

A dedicated teacher, Min Kwon has given master classes at major institutions and festivals around the world. Professor of Piano at Rutgers University in New Jersey since 2002, she is also the Founder and Director of CME, The Center for Musical Excellence in New York, a non-profit school for gifted young international pianists, and serves as Co-Director of Vienna ConcertoFest in Austria.

Ming Xie is a distinctive and promising pianist who won numerous top prizes in competitions, including Valsesia Musica International Piano Competition in Italy, Yamaha International Piano Competition, Lee International Piano Competition, TOYAMA International Youth Piano Competition in Hong Kong and Gulangyu National Piano Competition in China, among others. The New York Concert Review’s Jeffery Williams hailed his performance at Steinway Hall that “at only eighteen years of age, he played with involvement and RaveOnmastery far beyond his years. This is a young man who bears watching” (2012). At the same time, Martha Argerich also claimed him as “phenomenal” (2013). Ming Xie is currently a student at The Juilliard School under Professor Sergei Babayan.

Carl Patrick Bolleia has collaborated with musicians of The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and New Jersey Percussion Ensemble. Performances as soloist, conductor, chamber musician and collaborative pianist have occurred at Carnegie Hall Weill Recital Hall, (le) poisson rouge, Vienna ConcertoFest in Austria, Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg among others He is a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate in Piano Performance at Rutgers University, where he studies with Min Kwon and performs on harpsichord with the Rutgers Baroque Players and as pianist with the new music ensemble, “Helix!”. Mr. Bolleia currently teaches secondary piano at Rutgers University.

With seven appearances at Carnegie Hall, Erickson Rojas has celebrated numerous solo and chamber-music performances in the United States, as well as in various European and Latin-American countries, where he has also been featured as soloist with various orchestras, most recently the Ocean City Pops Orchestra and the Vienna International Orchestra. Erikson was one in five Americans and the only Hispanic in 30 pianists selected worldwide to compete in the Cleveland International Piano Competition. Mr. Rojas is an alumnus of Peabody Conservatory (G.P.D., M.M.), Curtis Institute of Music and Cairn University (B.M., B.S.). During his Doctor of Musical Arts candidacy at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, he studied with Min Kwon, Paul Hoffman, and Juilliard’s Martin Canin.

Reed Tetzloff has been praised as a “young American to watch” by The Cincinnati Enquirer, which lauded his “magical tone” and “richly communicative” playing. He debuted at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall with the Mannes Orchestra and gave his New York solo recital debut at Merkin Hall. He has also performed concerti with the Cincinnati Symphony, Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Mississippi Valley Orchestra, Queens Symphony. Mr. Tetzloff has won major prizes from important international competitions. In 2015, he was invited to compete in the prestigious XV International Tchaikovsky Competition. Reed was one of twelve semi-finalists, receiving wide acclaim in Russian media as the “lyric hero of the competition.”

Tickets are $16 in advance, $20 ($18 for WAC members, $10 for students) at the door. You may purchase tickets securely through Eventbrite. For more information call 908-753-0190 or e-mail us.

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"Classicals at the Circle"

Sophia Agranovich

Saturday, May 21, 8 p.m

Sophia Agranovich

The program will feature Franz Liszt’s epic Après une Lecture du Dante: Fantasia quasi Sonata - inspired by Victor Hugo’s poem ‘After a Reading of Dante’ (‘Divine Comedy’), exquisitely poetic and passionate 3 Sonneti del Petrarca, nostalgic and dazzling Hungarian Rhapsody # 14, as well as works by Beethoven and Rachmaninoff.

Sophia Agranovich is an award-winning virtuoso pianist, recording artist, educator and program director. A Steinway Artist and a Juilliard graduate, she is “a bold, daring pianist in the tradition of the Golden Age Romantics...A tigress of the piano” - Fanfare. Ms. Agranovich had performed in USA, Europe, Israel, and Canada, and has collaborated with renowned musicians and orchestra members. Her performances are hailed for the “orison of uncommon beauty” - Audiophile, “extraordinary dramatic urgency”, “white-hot passion”, “boldness of her conception” - Fanfare, “magnificent shading and superior musicianship” - American Record Guide, and are captivating audiences worldwide.

Tickets are $16 in advance, $20 ($18 WAC Members, $10 students )at the door. You may purchase tickets securely through Eventbrite. For more information call 908-753-0190 or e-mail us.

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Special Event

"Let Us Entertain You! - A Musical Variety Show"
A Fundraiser for the Watchung Arts Center

Saturday, February 27, 8 p.m.

“Let us entertain you. Let us make you smile.”

“Let Us Entertain You! - A Musical Variety Show”, a fundraiser for the benefit of the Watchung Arts Center, will feature an array of performers of many ages, many styles, and many talents.

Coming from towns that include Watchung, Warren, North Plainfield, South Plainfield, Martinsville, Scotch Plains and South Orange, the performers scheduled to appear are vocalist Kanttara; young jazz pianist Nathan Graham; vocal/piano duo Deborah and Gordon Rowan; another jazz piano prodigy, Leonieke Scheuble, with her father Nick Scheuble on drums; vocalist Roseanne Latore Sicola;and singer/songwriter Joe Higgins. A rhythm section consisting of Fred Fischer on piano, Gene Perla on bass and drummer Nick Scheuble, along with saxophonist Marty Eigen, will accompany the performers. The evening will be hosted by Watchung Arts Center trustee Jim Longo.

As with all performances at the Watchung Arts Center, the evening will include a dessert reception and an opportunity to meet the performers.
“So let us entertain you. And we'll have a real good time.”

All tickets are $15 for this special event. You may purchase tickets securely through Eventbrite. For more information, please call 908-753-0190 or e-mail us.

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"JaZZ in the Gallery"

ImpresaRIO Series: "Love Notes Plus"
Rio Clemente

with Special Guest

Annette Sanders

Friday, March 4, 8 p.m.

Rio Clemente

Rio Clemente, the “Bishop of Jazz,” has been bringing a dazzling line-up of extraordinary musicians to the audiences of WAC, performing most recently with guitarist Flip Peters, and in 2014 with vibraphonist Warren Chiasson. Rio will be joined on March 4 by vocalist Annette Sanders.

A native of Morristown, NJ, Rio is a member of its Hall of Fame. He’s been named Professional Artist of the Year by the Arts Council of the Morris Area, New Jersey Monthly Magazine named him among its “Top 40 New Jerseyans” and the New Jersey Jazz Society named him Musician of the Year.

Annette Sanders' career has been a constant whirlwind of recording and performing. After attending Hunter College, Annette sang in the New York nightclubs where she was heard by the late producer and composer, Bobby Scott, who signed her to Mercury Records. Her big break came in 1966 when Benny Goodman chose her as his featured vocalist for his prestigious Rainbow Grill engagement, archived on the recently mastered Yale University Music Library Series.It was at the Goodman performance that Annette was again discovered. This time it was by producers of advertising jingles. Her solo for Imprevu perfume as so successful, it launched Annette's career as a much sought-after studio singer.

Rio Clemente
During the late 80's, Annette co-founded the jazz-tinged vocal quintet, Group Five, teaming up with several of her studio cohorts. They have appeared in concerts and clubs throughout Europe and the U.S. In 1996, the second of her four CDs, "On My Way To You" was nominated for a Grammy. That was followed by "Everything I Love", a CD she recorded with noted pianist and arranger, Mike Renzi.
Since 2000, Annette has served as vocal jazz panelist for the National Foundation for Advance of the Arts, a project that supports talented high-school students.

Tickets are $18 in advance, $22 ($20 for WAC members, $10 for students) at the door. You may purchase tickets securely through Eventbrite. For more information, please call 908-753-0190 or e-mail us.

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"JaZZ in the Gallery"

Carrie Jackson & All Stars
“An Evening of Elegance in Song”

Saturday, April 2, 8 p.m.

“Carrie Jackson is an impressive vocalist and her voice swings with life. Deep and Soulful, she’s sensual at the same time she’s playful…Carrie has many talents, and is never afraid to use them.” JAZZ IMPROV

Carrie Jackson

Carrie Jackson … is a New York, New Jersey based vocalist and performer who spreads, shares her joy and well-honed expertise on the stage. Carrie with her multifaceted singing style can harmonize swing, scat, swing standards with sweet soul, wail the blues, ballads, or Gospel, all complimented by her engaging stage presence and graceful moves. Carrie has a wide range with a strong command of the classic elements of jazz vocalizing. She is also a gifted lyricist, has great timing and truly sings from her heart. She has been a guest vocalist for a variety of occasions and events around the world in years before and since. Ms Jackson was raised in Newark, NJ and honed her many talents in the New York City tri-state metropolitan areas. Carrie has sung with many different groups, and is a consummate band leader.

This versatile singer began performing at age six in the children’s and young adult choir’s in Mount Calvary Baptist Church, Newark, NJ. She also appeared on television stations, live radio broadcasts and musical theater to include Ain’t Misbehavin’ Fats’ Wallers Musical and Nunsense, Musical and on tour performing throughout the USA and abroad.

The evening will include a dessert reception and an opportunity to meet Ms. Jackson

Tickets are $18 in advance, $22 ($20 for WAC members, $10 for students) at the door. You may purchase tickets securely through Eventbrite. For more information, please call 908-753-0190 or e-mail us.

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Enjoy videos of some past performances at the WAC