Benefit concert featuring renowned composers in Manchester

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MANCHESTER >> Celebrated composers/pianists Allen Shawn and Stephen Dankner will perform their own works with violinist Joana Genova on April 16 at 3 p.m. in a special fundraising concert, followed by a reception for the Michael Rudiakov Music Academy, hosted by Ellie and Tom Dyett in their home in Manchester Village.

Allen Shawn is an American composer, pianist, educator, and author. Shawn is the son of the late The New Yorker editor William Shawn and the brother of actor and playwright Wallace Shawn. He received a bachelor's degree from Harvard University, a master's degree from Columbia University, and studied in France with Nadia Boulanger. He teaches composition and music history at Bennington College.

Stephen Dankner is a composer, pianist, writer and digital artist. Dankner received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Composition from the Juilliard School in 1971 and has taught at Williams College, Loyola University of New Orleans, and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. He was the music columnist for the The Advocate newspaper, serving Berkshire County and southwestern Vermont, from 2005-2014. He resides in Williamstown, Mass.

Bulgarian violinist Joana Genova is Resident Artist and Education Director of the Manchester Music festival as well as Artist Associate at Williams College. She has premiered a number of works by Stephen Dankner and Allen Shawn.

Allen's son Noah and Joana's daughter Liliana take violin lessons at the Michael Rudiakov Music Academy, which currently has 6 teachers and an enrollment of 37 violin, viola and cello students from Manchester, Dorset, Pawlet, Londonderry, Pownal, Wallingford, Bennington and other towns . About 1/3 of the students receive financial aid.

Manchester Music Festival is a year-round organization offering classical music performances and music education of the highest caliber. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, the Festival produces classical music concerts throughout the year, including summer concerts at the Southern Vermont Arts Center, the and holiday concerts around the Northshire. MMF hosts renowned musicians and provides a full-scholarship summer chamber music program for pre-professional performers. For children, MMF's Michael Rudiakov Music Academy provides private lessons in violin, viola and cello, and a youth string ensemble. MMF performs free concerts and residencies in area schools, and each July the organization offers Music Discovery Week, where children can take a week of instrumental lessons with a member of MMF's Young Artists Program.

Tickets $35 / Seating is limited and tickets must be purchased in advance. Visit mmfvt.org or call 802-362-1956 for tickets or more information.


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