Byron Janis Celebrates 80th Birthday 3/10 in Concert with Hensley, Cuccioli, Mason

February 20
12:19 2008

Internationally renowned pianist Byron Janis celebrates his 80th birthday in grand style with two special events in March at the Bruno Walter Auditorium, NYPL for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, (located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza).

On Saturday, March 8 at 3PM, he will present a lecture, "Remembering Horowitz, Toscanini and Heifetz: Reflection by Byron Janis." The birthday festivities continue with "An Evening of Song with Pianist as Composer with a Touch of Chopin," a concert on Monday, March 10 at 6PM where he will play his own music for the first time in front of an audience.

Some of Broadway's most acclaimed performers will join Janis for the March 10 concert. His special guests include Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll & Hyde), Shuler Hensley (Oklahoma!, Young Frankenstein), Karen Mason (Mamma Mia!), Sami Gayle (Gypsy), Maya Days (No Strings at Encores!), and Joanne Lessner (Cyrano).

Janis's repertoire for the concert includes "The World is Changing," "All That's Left of Love," "J'aime celui qui M'aime," "You Are More," "The Warmth of Christmas," "A Hero's Passing By," "Footprints," and "Like Any Man." He plans to perform a few selections by Chopin. Mr. Janis will also be donating a manuscript for one of his pieces to The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Music Division, one of the world's leading archives for the study of music.

Byron Janis is renowned internationally as one of the world's greatest concert pianists – an extraordinary career he began as a piano prodigy at the age of nine. The year 1984 marked the 40th anniversary of the historic New York Carnegie Hall debut recital that launched his brilliant career – a milestone celebrated with a State Dinner at the White House, where he was honored by President Reagan.

In 1960, Janis was chosen as the first American artist to be sent to the Soviet Union, opening the Cultural Exchange between the USSR and the United States. His triumph there was reported on the front page of The New York Times in 1960 as was his discovery of two Chopin waltzes in 1967. He wrote and produced a critically-acclaimed documentary on the life of Frederic Chopin that aired on numerous public television stations across the United States and was broadcast internationally.

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