New World School of the Arts Presents FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, Featuring Viviana Lasaracina, Tonight

New World School of the Arts celebrates Valentine's Day with a special presentation by piano virtuoso, Viviana Lasaracina, who joins the NWSA music division in the conservatory's annual concert at Knight Concert Hall. Coinciding this year with the Sochi Winter Olympic Games and Valentine's Day, From Russia with Love highlights masterpieces from three Russian musical giants: Stravinsky, Rachmaninov, and Shostakovich. The concert will take place tonight, February 12 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20 for students and $10 for seniors and are available by visiting or by calling the Music Hotline at 305-237-7855.

In addition, NWSA is partnering with a staple in the Miami community to present the concert, "Miami Children's Hospital cures bodies and New World School of the Arts cures souls. We have partnered with the Michael Fux Family Center at Miami Children's hospital for this event," commented Milton Rubén Laufer, dean of the music division at New World School of the Arts. "Half the proceeds from this concert will benefit this community treasure. This collaboration will allow us to forge meaningful relationships with the community but, most importantly, it allows New World School of the Arts to help patients and their families find some comfort during a very challenging time in their lives."

This year's program opens with conductor Albert Clark as he leads the New World School of the Arts Chamber Orchestra, Opera Chorus, and Concert Choir in Igor Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, a choral fantasy originally commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky for the Boston Symphony Orchestra's 50th anniversary.

Following the Symphony of Psalms, the NWSA Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of maestro Alfred Gershfeld, will accompany Lasaracina - making her American debut on piano - to interpret Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, opus 43, by Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943). The program concludes with The NWSA Symphony Orchestra performing Dimitri Shostakovich's Symphony Number 1 in F minor, written in 1924, when the composer was just a teenager.

Viviana Lasaracina, Italian pianist, was born in 1988 and began her piano studies at the age of 6. She graduated from "Nino Rota" Conservatory in Monopoli under Professor Benedetto Lupo. In 2004 Lasaracina received a study fellowship and a recording for "Sarx Records" by "Società Umanitaria" in Milan along with a study fellowship by MIUR (Ministery of Education University and Research). Winner of the 11th Castrocaro Competition, she recorded music by Chopin and Liszt. Other career accomplishments include winner of the 2nd prize at the prestigious "Premio Venezia" performing at Teatro La Fenice in 2007, and a fellowship By YMFE (Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe) in 2008. She was a Finalist at 57th "Ferruccio Busoni" International Piano competition in Bolzano (2008) and was selected as official competitor of Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition in Salt Lake City, USA (2010), among others. Viviana also won the New York Concert Artists and Associates Audition in 2013 and will have her Carnegie Hall Recital Debut in 2014. Recent performances include appearances on Radio Vaticana and recitals in Italy, Austria, Spain, Germany, France and Poland and with numerous renowned orchestras such as Magna Grecia Orchestra, Ciudad de Granada Orchestra, and "Mihail Jora" Bacau Philharmonic Orchestra.

More On: Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Rachmaninov, Nino Rota, International Artists, Carnegie Hall.

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by Peter Danish