International keyboard festival at FHSU continues in March, April

Music-Keyboard festival-Web

By Ruth Firestone
Hays music supporter
HAYS, Kan. -- Irena Ravitskaya, concert pianist and associate professor of music at Fort Hays State University, has organized an exciting recital series starring young pianists from China, Israel, Moldavia and the United States.

The five-recital series, the 2017 International Keyboard Festival, which began Feb. 17 with an organ recital at First Presbyterian Church, Hays, resumes Friday, March 10, and continues until April 20. All but the March 10 recital will take place in the Beach-Schmidt Performing Arts Center in Sheridan Hall on the FHSU campus. Just bring yourself and anyone you want -- it's all free.

Congcong Chai, the first recitalist, is no stranger to Hays audiences. While a doctoral student at the University of Kansas, he won the Hays Symphony Orchestra's Young Artist Competition. Chai is now a member of the piano faculty at Wuhan Conservatory, China. He will play selections from the works of Frederic Chopin and Sergei Rachmaninoff at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 10, in Palmer Hall in Malloy Hall on the FHSU campus.

American Benjamin Dominguez, a brilliant undergraduate student in piano performance at KU, has already won the Kansas City Symphony Young Artists Competition and given two performances with the symphony. Dominguez will play compositions by Bach, Beethoven and Schumann at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 13, in Beach/Schmidt.

Teng Fu, from China, began piano study at the age of 6. A brave and independent soul, he traveled alone to the United States when he was only 16. He has won numerous competitions and even has played for Pope Benedict XVI. At present, he is a doctoral student at KU. Fu plans to perform music by Liszt, Gershwin, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, and several others at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 17, in Beach/Schmidt.

This will be Raymonda Sheinfeld's second visit to Hays. She and Ravitskaya performed a duo recital in 2015 that earned standing applause. Sheinfeld was born in Moldavia, but is now an Israeli citizen. In her first recital she will play three well-known Beethoven sonatas at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 14, in Beach/Schmidt.

To bring the festival to a gala conclusion, Sheinfeld and Ravitskaya will again join forces in a duo recital that will include works by Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, in Beach/Schmidt.

Once more, the series is free, and all are welcome. Please come and enjoy.

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