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The Commons
Photo 1

Courtesy photo

Eugene Friesen and Hugh Keelan will be performing at Main Street Arts on May 21.

The Arts

Friesen, Keelan in concert at Main Street Arts

Tickets for each concert are $15 and can be purchased by contacting MSA at 802-869-2960 or Tickets will also be available at the door.

Originally published in The Commons issue #408 (Wednesday, May 17, 2017).

SAXTONS RIVER—The Main Street Arts Hands On: Celebrating Our Piano series continues Sunday, May 21, at 3 p.m., with the combined magic of cellist Eugene Friesen and pianist Hugh Keelan.

Four-time Grammy winner Friesen and Keelan will share their musical talents in a program of pieces by composers Debussy, Schumann, and Friesen himself, with a touch of Brazil added for good measure.

The concert is one in a series of three to celebrate the donation to MSA of a Steinway piano by Jamie Eckley.

In addition to being a cellist and composer, Friesen is also active internationally as a conductor and teacher.

He is a graduate of the Yale School of Music and has been featured on recordings and in concerts with the Paul Winter Consort, Trio Globo, in duo with pianist Tim Ray, and in his popular CelloMan performances that have introduced hundreds of children and adults to the instrument.

He is artist-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York and professor of music at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Keelan, music director and conductor of the Windham Orchestra, is a pianist and violinist who served as conductor of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic for 15 years and music director of the Erie Philharmonic from 2000 to 2006 and has been guest conductor of orchestras around the world.

The MSA piano series grew out of Eckley’s gift of the piano. The instrument had previously been owned by the Chicago Lyric Opera Company and reportedly used by Lola Fletcher, the cousin and teacher of Lily Pons, the French-American operatic soprano and actress, as her lesson instrument. Fletcher was the grandmother of Eckley’s late wife Pam.

The piano is known as a brown mahogany Model M grand and has been tuned and restored to its former glory by William Ballard.

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