Hartnell College invites arts lovers, classical music aficionados, and community college boosters to an inspiring evening of classical music performed by two world renowned musicians, with proceeds going to benefit a new scholarship fund for music students at the Salinas community college.
By special invitation from Hartnell College superintendent/president, Dr. Willard Clark Lewallen, internationally acclaimed musicians Francesco Attesti and Matteo Galli will be performing a concert titled "Piano and Organ: a Symphonic Duo" on the Mainstage, Hartnell College Performing Arts Building, on Wednesday, February 20, at 7 p.m.
"Piano concerts are quite common, but it is rare to have a performance of classical music involving piano and organ," says Dr. Lewallen, who has hosted the duo twice before as a benefit for the Rotary Club for which he was a member while serving as president of West Hills College. Mr. Attesti is a member of the Cortona Valdichiana Rotary Club in Italy and a Paul Harris Fellow. "The combination of organ and piano creates a unique sound for the interpretation of classical music. Their passion and musicianship are inspiring."
Dedicated to Giuseppe Verdi for the bicentennial of his birth, the centerpiece of the concert promises to be a rare performance of his "Requiem for Piano and Organ," a composition discovered in an Italian archive by Galli in 2005 after being lost since 1875. In addition to Verdi's hauntingly moving composition, audience members also will be treated to Attesti and Galli's unique, pared down renderings of works by such luminaries as Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Gioacchino Rossini.
Lauded as one of the leading interpreters of Romantic and Early Twentieth Century classical music, Francesco Attesti studied piano with Sergio Perticaroli, one of Europe's leading classical piano instructors, in both Salzburg and Rome before launching a successful career that has led him to some of the world's most distinguished concert halls including Philharmonia Hall of Saint Petersburg, Winter Festival at Cambridge University, and Columbia University in New York.
As chief organist at the St. Maria presso St. Satiro Basilica in Milan, Matteo Galli is both an acclaimed musician and classical music scholar. In addition to touring the United States and Europe with the Ensemble Zefiro and organizing concerts and festivals in his home city of Milan, Galli also works with the Ministry of National Heritage and Cultural Environment in Italy to index and preserve ancient organs. It was in his capacity as a researcher that Galli unearthed the lost "Verdi Requiem" to be performed at this concert.
Dr. Lewallen believes that hosting arts programs like this one is central to Hartnell College's mission to provide opportunities to the community. "I have always found that the arts seem to transcend race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status," he says. "I also view Hartnell College as a cultural center for our community, and I am thrilled that we can provide diverse cultural experiences for our community. The community college is about opening doors to opportunities. Those opportunities are certainly about a college education, but they also include opening doors to learning outside of the classroom. We are committed to opening doors that lead to learning about and enjoying the arts."
The concert will be preceded by a Master Class conducted by the artists for Hartnell College music students at 1 p.m., which will be open to the public. Following the concert, an exclusive reception will be held in the Hartnell Art Gallery, where guests will have a chance to meet the artists.
This concert is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Blach Construction and Felice Consulting Services.
Tickets are $25 for general admission, $15 for students and Hartnell employees. Benefit tickets of $60 include admission to the reception (wine and hors d'oeuvres) with the artists, preferred seating for the concert, and a signed copy of the artists' CD "Verdi Requiem."
Tickets for this one night only benefit concert can be purchased at www.westernstage.com, by calling 831-755-6810, or at the TWS box office.