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Afternoon Music Presents Concert of Harp, Flute and Viola Jan. 29 at Unitarian Church

Unitarian Church

Sunday, January 8, 2012 • 2:30pm

SUMMIT, NJ - Three accomplished musicians with links to Princeton University will be featured in an Afternoon Music concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, January 29, at The Unitarian Church in Summit, 4 Waldron Ave. (at Springfield Avenue).

Harpist Elaine Christy, flutist Judith Pearce and violist Jessica Thompson will play works by Debussy, Arnold Bax and Carlos Salzedo.  Following the performance, the audience is invited to meet the artists at a reception in the church’s lobby.

Harpist Elaine Christy has won wide recognition for harp performance and plays often in the New York area. She has performed at Steinway Hall, Carnegie’s Weill Hall and in the Riverside, St. Bartholomew and Trinity Church concert series.  She won standing ovations at holiday concerts at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark and performed with the CBS Orchestra on the Late Show with David Letterman.

A harp instructor at Princeton University, Christy twice won the Ruth Lorraine Close Competition award for advanced study and also won the national harp competition of the American Harp Society.  She holds a doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music and has been Professor of Harp at the University of Kansas and Kansas State University.

Flutist Judith Pearce is a chamber musician of distinction who has played in concert halls from Lincoln and Kennedy centers in the U.S. to London’s Festival Hall, La Scala in Milan and the Sydney Opera House.  She has worked with a range of notable musicians, including composer-conductor Peter Maxwell Davies, soprano Kathleen Battle and jazz singer Cleo Laine.

The New Yorker magazine praised her as “a rare and beautiful performer who can transport listeners with a single note.”  British conductor Simon Rattle called her playing “searching and characterful.”

Pearce is founder and artistic director of Weekend of Chamber Music, which brings chamber music to the Delaware Valley & Catskill Mountain areas of Sullivan County, New York.  She recently retired from teaching flute at Princeton.

Violist Jessica Thompson is a versatile performer who has appeared as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, in recitals in Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, and was invited to perform on a program of American women composers at the International Viola Congress.

She teaches in the music performance programs of both Princeton and Columbia universities and is a member of the Daedelus Quartet.  She participated in Isaac Stern’s International Chamber Music Encounters in Jerusalem and was chosen to perform at the Isaac Stern Memorial Concert at Carnegie Hall in 2001.

Afternoon Music will present its third and final concert of the 2011-2012 season on Sunday, April 1, with violinist Evelyn Estava, cellist Gerall Hieser and pianist Mitchell Vines playing trios by Haydn, Brahms and Spanish composer Joaquín Turina.  Vines is also Afternoon Music’s artistic director.

Afternoon Music tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors.  Students are welcome free.  The series is funded in part by grants from the Manley-Winser Foundation, the Summit Area Public Foundation and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through a grant administered by the Union County Division of Cultural & Heritage Affairs.

For advance tickets, send a check made out to Afternoon Music to the church at 4 Waldron Avenue, Summit, NJ, 07901.  Further information is available at (908) 273-3245 or www.ucsummit.org.

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