Acclaimed pianist will return to Franco center

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LEWISTON — Pianist Henry Kramer will present a program of compositions by Beethoven, Chopin and Ravel on Saturday, Jan. 22, at the Franco-American Heritage Center.

This will be the third recital in this season’s Piano Series.

The 23-year-old pianist, a 2005 graduate of Cape Elizabeth High School and a recent graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, gave his debut recital at the Franco center in March 2007.

Kramer is a recent prize winner in the eighth National Chopin Competition, held every five years in Miami; and he has been chosen to participate in the prestigious Busoni Competition later this year in Bolzano, Italy.

Following his participation in last summer’s International Holland Music Sessions, when he performed five recitals across the Netherlands, Kramer was selected to tour Europe during the 2011-2012 season. While on tour, he performed a solo recital in Amsterdam’s famed Concertgebouw.

Kramer was drawn to the piano at age 11, when he discovered he could play by ear his favorite songs from radio and film. A year later, he began lessons with Elizabeth Manduca in Portland. “Once I started to work with her and get really into it, I knew piano was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Kramer said.

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During his senior year of high school, he commuted every weekend to study in the Juilliard School’s pre-college division.

Kramer has been featured twice on Public Radio’s “From the Top” and has played in the live “In the Gardens of Spain” performance at the Cervantes Institute in New York City, broadcast internationally on WQXR.

A winner of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s High School Concerto Competition in 2005, Kramer has been soloist twice with that orchestra and also appeared in concert with the Portland String Quartet. He has performed with the orchestra of the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, and has given recitals in Boston, Seattle, Spain and Banff, Alberta, where he attended master classes at the Banff Centre.

An avid chamber musician, Kramer has pursued his love for ensemble playing at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Sarasota Music Festival and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Calif. He studied chamber music at Juilliard with Joseph Kalichstein and members of the Juilliard String Quartet. He has also appeared in chamber music recitals at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and Peter Jay Sharp Theater.

Kramer has worked with many prominent musicians and is currently working toward his master’s degree at Juilliard.

In August 2006, he made a private visit to play the Franco center’s new Steinway concert grand piano. During the following Christmas break, he returned for the first recording session at the center.

Go and do

WHAT: concert recital

WHO: pianist Henry Kramer

WHEN: 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 22

WHERE: Franco-American Heritage Center, Cedar Street, Lewiston

TICKETS: $16 for adults, $14 for seniors; students admitted free. Call 689-2000 or visit www.francoamericanheritage.org.

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