Wilmington Music Festival announces its new concert season, featuring international music stars


Wilmington Music Festival in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Department of Music presents its second season, running from November 9th through the 16th with three innovative concerts and series of educational school outreach programs featuring world-class performing artists of both classical music and jazz.

Among them will be jazz maestro Joel Martin, Russia’s violin virtuoso Igor Pikayzen, Wilmington’s own operatic dream team Nikoleta and Michael Rallis, and pianists, Barry Salwen and Aza Sydykov.
The weeklong program will include classical music, jazz, opera and Broadway favorites.

Tickets for the 2018 Wilmington Music Festival are available starting August 31st at www.wilmingtonmusicfestival.org.

The Festival will open at Beckwith Recital Hall on the UNCW campus Friday evening, November 9th at 7:30. This event will feature violinist Pikayzen in a joint recital with UNCW’s piano virtuoso, Barry Salwen. The program will include chamber music masterpieces by Mozart, Brahms, Shostakovich and Poulenc, as well as highlights from the violin repertoire’s golden hits like Ravel’s “Tzygane” and Waxman’s “Carmen Fantasy”.

The following evening, Saturday, November 10th at 7:30, the Festival will offer a “Love Story in Music” featuring Wrightsville Beach native soprano Nikoleta Rallis and her husband, concert pianist Aza Sydykov. The couple will celebrate their love and marriage with a passionate program of operatic arias and art songs. This concert will also be held at UNCW’s Beckwith Recital Hall.

The Festival will close on Friday evening, November 16th at 7:30 with “The Gala at Thalian”, a concert at Wilmington’s historic Thalian Hall for the Performing Arts. The star of this gala is internationally celebrated jazz and classical pianist/composer Joel Martin, also longtime accompanist of former Metropolitan Opera soprano Kathleen Battle. He will share the stage with “The Carolina Caruso”, Michael Rallis, as well as violinist Pikayzen, soprano, Nikoleta Rallis and pianists, Barry Salwen and Aza Sydykov.

Wilmington Music Festival is a 501© (3) non-profit arts organization with a mission to promote musical excellence and cultural diversity in the Wilmington community by presenting innovative and exciting performances and offering affordable music instruction by world-renowned teaching artists.

Ms. Rallis, festival’s Co-Founder and President expresses her enthusiasm about the future of her brainchild:
“It is our ambition to establish an annual festival of world-class musical events and educational programs worthy of comparison with Charleston’s Spoleto Festival.

We are convinced Wilmington is the ideal location for such an ambitious undertaking and that, in close collaboration with the UNCW’s Department of Music and our other important partners in the area, we can make a substantial contribution to the cultural and fiscal health of the community and the region”.

The festival’s Artistic Director and Co-founder, Aza Sydykov shares his excitement about WMF’s partnership with UNCW: “We are extremely proud that this year’s partnership with UNCW will bring benefits to the talented young students, who will be receiving financial assistance from a special scholarship fund we are establishing at UNCW’s Music Department. The recipients will also be invited to participate in WMF’s Emerging Artists Program for the 2019-2020 Season. Participants in this program will be featured in public performances and will receive guidance in performance practices and career development from established professional musicians and entrepreneurs.”

In addition to this week of concert events, Wilmington Music Festival will offer educational and community activities during the winter and summer months of the 2018-2019 season. These activities will include outreach concerts, master classes by internationally acclaimed performing artists, “interactive” concerts designed to encourage educational exchange between performers and audiences, and lecture/demonstrations – some designed to enhance the training of aspiring musicians and some, to promote public appreciation of quality music of all genres.

For more information about Wilmington Music Festival visit their website at www.wilmingtonmusicfestival.org.

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