“F. Chopin: A Birthday Celebration Performance" at the Sound Conservatory -- March 6.

Wednesday, March 6, 7 p.m.

The Sound Conservatory, 504 17th Street, Moline IL

Held in honor of the 1810 birth (on March 1) of the legendary Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period, the concert event F. Chopin: A Birthday Celebration Performance will be held at Moline's The Sound Conservatory on March 6, this unforgettable evening filled with mesmerizing piano performances and enchanting melodies played by the venue's musician/instructors Alex Gilson, Clara Nielsen, Paul Mizzi, and Andrzej Kozlowski.

Chopin's music, his status as one of music's earliest celebrities, his indirect association with political insurrection, his high-profile love life, and his early death at age 39 have made the composer/pianist a leading symbol of the Romantic era. His works remain popular, and he has been the subject of numerous films and biographies of varying historical fidelity. Among his many memorials is the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, which was created by the Parliament of Poland to research and promote his life and works and hosts the International Chopin Piano Competition, a prestigious competition devoted entirely to the musical legend's works.

Among the musicians for the F. Chopin: A Birthday Celebration Performance, Alex Gilson, as a youth, played cello in various ensembles such as the Houston Youth Symphony, the Southeast Texas Youth Symphony, the American Festival for the Arts, and the Symphony of Southeast Texas. From a young age, he knew music was going to be a major part of his life, and in continuing his passion into adulthood, Gilson attended the University of North Texas for both organ performance and jazz studies degrees. After that, he studied at the Eastman School of Music for his Masters in organ performance and literature.

Clara Nielsen began teaching piano lessons when she was 17 and has currently been teaching for more than 20 years; for 13 of those years, she taught at West Music in Moline. Nielsen has also played for weddings and other events; has been the pianist for a college-level choir; and has spent a couple years as a church organist, as well as many years as a pianist in church bands.

After receiving his Bachelor’s degree, flute player Paul Mizzi went on to work on his Master’s in New York City at the Manhattan School of Music, with a focus on contemporary music. Having exposure to performances at Carnegie Hall opened the doors for the artist to experience music from the greatest performers from all over the world, and Mizzi is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Flute Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa.

Sound Conservatory owner Andrzej Kozłowski was born in Gdynia, Poland, and in 1992, he and his family emigrated to the United States permanently. After studying piano with renowned pianist and composer Zaven Khatchadourian, with whom Kozłowski continued his studies until his teacher's sudden passing in 2003, the young musician went on to continue his music-education studies at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University, and shortly afterward moved on to study piano performance at the Juilliard School.

In the Sound Conservatory's birthday-celebration performance., the repertoire for the evening includes: 4 Impromptus with Alex Gilson on piano; Nocturne Op. 37 No. 2 with Clara Nielsen on piano; Variations for Flute & Piano in E Major, B. 9 with Paul Mizzi on flute and Andrzej Kozlowski on piano; and Polonaise Op. 53 “Heroic” Grand Valse Op. 34 No. 1, also featuring Kozlowski on piano.

F. Chopin: A Birthday Celebration Performance will take place in Moline on March 6, admission to the 7 p.m. performance is $10-50, and m ore information and tickets are available by visiting SoundConservatory.com.

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