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MORE THAN JUST A CONCERT
Fresno, CA September 10, 2007 - The Fresno Philharmonic continues its 2007-2008 season in the newly renovated William Saroyan Theater. Returning pianist extraordinaire Sergei Babayan, whose music is heard worldwide, will perform Tchaikovsky September 22 at 8:00pm and September 23 at 2:30pm in the first of the eight Masterworks Series. With many international performances and important awards, Sergei Babayan maintains a style which has been described by The Daily Camera as fiery and passionate that leaves one breathless. Concert goers are encouraged to arrive one hour early to enjoy an educational pre-concert lecture by the Fresno Philharmonic's Executive Director, Don Reinhold, view an art exhibit by local painter Priscilla Yamamoto and hear performances in the lobby of the Saroyan Theatre by the Celtic group Pipe on the Hob, as well as violinist Patrick Contreras. Tickets start at $24 and may be purchased online at www.fresnophil.org or by phone at 559-261-0600.
Other Masterworks Series highlights include Grammy Award winning violinist Joshua Bell on November 2 and 3, magnetic percussionist Evelyn Glennie on April 26 and 27 and the highly anticipated Warner Bros.' Bugs Bunny on Broadway in a mixture of orchestra and film on March 8 with two performances at 2:30pm and 8:00pm. Once again, Music Director Theodore Kuchar will put his skillful conducting to work in this season's inspiring collection of famous, friendly, and enticing concert events.
To get these concerts at a discounted price, ticket buyers are encouraged to purchase a season package. There are two season packages available: The Masterworks Pearl Series that includes five concerts with a savings of 10% off single ticket prices and the Masterworks Diamond Series that includes all eight concerts with a 15% savings. The Masterworks Pearl Series and Masterworks Diamond Series sale ends Thursday, September 20 and Friday, September 21, respectively.
Under the baton of Music Director Theodore Kuchar, the Fresno Philharmonic has become one of the best American regional orchestras. As the largest professional orchestra between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Philharmonic's mission is to provide high-quality orchestral music to audiences and music education programs to school children throughout the Central Valley.
RESIDENT LOBBY ARTIST STATEMENT: PRISICILLA YAMAMOTO
My name is Priscilla Yamamoto. I am 23 years old. I was born in Tulsa, OK. My father is a third generation Japanese American, my mother is a Cambodian American Refugee. Along with my two younger brothers, I am a bi-product of two American wars.
I've been painting and drawing ever since I could, using crayons. I grew to learn and appreciate having artistic gifts and how to perceive the world with the same senses as a child.
I am a graduate of CSU Fresno, department of Art and Design. After graduating, I had the opportunity to visit a beach town in Japan. There, I learned a great amount about the nature of the citizens and their culture. On a beach in Chigasaki, I had an encounter with an old fisherman, who's old fishing boat was the subject of my project. Surprisingly, I had found natural pieces of charcoal laden around the shore to draw with and decided to take advantage of this convenient set-up. The old fisherman decided to approach me (an uncommon gesture in Japan) and asked to look at my drawing. I offered to give it to him as a gift but he politely and hastily declined. After a few words of broken Japanese and repetitive hand gesturing I think he began to understand and gratefully accepted it.
Now, I continue to paint, draw and create as a means of communication and assurance of my humanity. We humans are born, grow and live to sense the world around us, inside a vast universe. So forth, our lives are one continuous art gallery, processing information not only through our immediate senses, but by the way we think and feel.
ABOUT RESIDENT LOBBY CELTIC BAND PIPE ON THE HOB
Pipe on the Hob is one of Fresno's oldest Celtic Bands having played together for over 20 years in one form or another.
The current ensemble includes Donn Beedle, who founded the band in the mid-1980s on fiddle and viola, Carl Johnsen (hammer dulcimer and flutes) Kathryn Johnsen (Celtic harp and keyboard) and vocalist Karana Hattersley-Drayton (keyboard, bodhran and spoons).
Pipe on the Hob's repertoire is drawn from the Celtic-speaking corners of Britain and Europe. A typical performance by the band features Irish reels and jigs, Scottish airs, French and Welsh songs of love and loss, a few Irish pub sing-alongs and even an occasional American hoedown or waltz thrown in for good measure. The band's first CD will be released in September. Pipe on the Hob is the ideal band for weddings, art venues, educational events and holiday parties.
For bookings contact Kathryn at (559)229-8808 or Karana at (559) 243-9039
ABOUT RESIDENT LOBBY VIOLINIST PATRICK CONTRERAS
Patrick Contreras' musical resume can only be described in one word "eclectic." In 1996, Patrick was chosen among some of America's elite young classical musicians to represent United States on a tour through Europe. This experience would prove to be an eye opening and life changing moment for this young musician's career. Motivated and full of energy, Patrick returned to the United States eager to sharpen his craft at not only performing great works of classical music, but to develop his natural instinct to improvise.
During the beginning stages of his training he received training from Mariachi Los Camperos in Mexican music and Dr. Susan Doering in classical music. Patrick also used night clubs as his teacher to sharpen his improvisation skills, jumping into every type of jam session he could sit in on from Jazz to Hip Hop, Country, Rock, Blues, and even Bluegrass. In Early 2000, Patrick joined the Progressive Rock/ Flamenco group Zambra (www.zambraband.com) which proved to be an invaluable experience in his development.
Zambra toured all over California opening for acts such as Poncho Sanchez, and playing jazz festivals in the bay area and southern California. Slowly Patrick began developing into a soloist with all his experiences finally debuting in a classical music concert at the Tower Theater in Fresno, California which received critical acclaim from local publications. Patrick returned to the Tower Theater the next summer to give a career- changing concert named "No Boundaries." His performance exploited all of Patrick's facilities outside of the classical realm to which he is now known for: Salsa, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Flamenco, Indian, Arabic, Funk and Hip Hop. This has become the standard upon Patrick's development as an artist.
Patrick has opened and worked with artists such as Hip Hop Favorites Digital Underground and E- 40, and Sir Mix A lot, instrumental virtuosos like Bela Fleck, Jean Luc Ponty, classical musicians such as Sarah Chang, Alexander String Quartet, and Josh Groban, Mexican Music heavyweights Mariachi Los Camperos, Mariachi Imperial, and Aida Cuevas, theater shows like Cirque De Soleil. salsa groups Anthony Blea y Su Charanga, Tito y Son De Cuba, and Poncho Sanchez.
In 2007, Patrick debuts his album "American Gypsy" which will be a new sound for Violin and Music. A culmination of his influences and experience the album will be rooted in Latin and Rock music but also have influences of Jazz, Blues, Soul, Funk, Arabic, Classical and Hip Hop. Look for the live show and catch Patrick as he debuts American Gypsy!