September 18th, 2019

Famed pianist to open Centric MusicFest

By Mabell, Dave on June 17, 2019.

Dave Mabell

Lethbridge Herald

An internationally acclaimed pianist will launch this year’s Centric MusicFest in Lethbridge.

Charles Richard-Hamelin will perform Wednesday in the first of five concerts downtown.

A laureate of the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, the Montreal International Music Competition and the Seoul International Music Competition, Richard-Hamelin will offer an evening of selections by Chopin, Debussy, Enescu, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninov.

“We are extremely fortunate to once again, have an internationally acclaimed pianist come to our community,” says Ryan Kolodziej, the festival’s executive and artistic director.

“I was lucky to have met and listened to Charles play not long before his career took off, and it has been lots of fun to see how quickly he has become a household name in the music scene.

“Considering that he plays in some of the largest concert halls in the world, we are thrilled that Lethbridge will be the location of one of only two concerts that he is performing in Alberta this summer.”

The festival, showcasing top Canadian musicians and rising stars, will continue Thursday when Red Deer pianist Alison Kilgannon joins with Trio de Moda for a program of works by Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. Trio de Moda is a dynamic string trio made up of members of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra: violinists Neda Yamach and Clayton Leung along with cellist Kathleen de Caen.

This year’s lineup will also showcase the flute and percussion “jamani duo” – the husband and wife team of Matt and Jodi Groenheide, on June 21.

“For those looking for a musical experience that takes them around the world, this is one concert that you should not miss,” Kolodziej says.

Rising stars soprano Madison Craig and pianist Zain Solinski, featured June 22, have both moved on to the next stage of their professional training abroad after studies in Lethbridge. They will return to the city to present a program that celebrates “the female muse for artistic inspiration and the reclamation of the poetry by the female voice.”

The closing concert on June 23 will feature most of Centric 2019’s lineup in a collaborative program of some of the best music of the classical repertoire. It’s set for 2:30 pm at St. Augustine’s Anglican Church.

All the other concerts are set for St. Augustine’s at 7:30 p.m., with the exception of the June 21 event – 7:30 p.m. at Casa.

Concert tickets are priced at $35 at the door, or $30 online at

Concert-goers under 30 years of age are offered a special price of $25, and a festival pass covering all concerts is available for $120.

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