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Albanian Lyric Tenor Saimir Pirgu to Make NYC Debut at Merkin Concert Hall

Albanian lyric tenor Saimir Pirgu will make his New York City Merkin Concert Hall recital debut on Saturday, April 9 at 8pm. Performing selections from his recently released album, "Il Mio Canto," (Opus Arte), Pirgu will be accompanied by pianist Lucy Arner.

"Life doesn't exist without music," says Saimir Pirgu about his recent album release, recorded with Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, conducted by Speranza Scappucci. Pirgu chose the repertoire for this new album to showcase his affinity for Verdi roles, the verismo repertoire, and the French and Italian bel canto.

Acclaimed by audiences and critics around the world for his rapid rise in the both the opera and concert arena, Pirgu is one of the best known singers in the international lyric world and appears regularly in major opera houses, under the batons of the foremost conductors of the day. Praised for his dramatic and earnestly felt interpretations, he is defined as "one of the most beautiful voices that can be heard today" (Seen and Heard International), "one of the world's most important interpreters of lyric tenor roles" (Opera Today), and "a star ascending" (Opera Now). "His singing sounds spontaneous and unforced, graced by an intuitive play of light and shade and a silken touch" (The New York Times), "his technique is superb, and the lyric quality of his voice is so beautiful" (Plácido Domingo), and "the sky is the limit for him" (The New York Sun). Pirgu started his study of music at a young age and was granted a diploma in violin at 16 years old in his native city Elbasan, Albania. As his career bloomed, he travelled to Italy where he received training under the guidance of Vito Maria Brunetti and another diploma in voice from the Conservatory Claudio Monteverdi in Bolzano. With the legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti as his mentor, Pirgu's career continued to rise and he was chosen by Claudio Abbado to sing the role of Ferrando in Così fan tutte in Ferrara. The following summer he sang Ferrando at the 2004 Salzburg Festival with Philippe Jordan conducting and became the youngest artist in the history of the Festival to ever make a debut in a principal role. In 2008, Pirgu was chosen by Woody Allen to sing the role of Rinuccio in the Los Angeles Opera's production of Gianni Schicchi and subsequently was honored with the Franco Corelli Prize for his interpretation of the role of Alfredo in La Traviata. He was recognized with the prestigious "Pavarotti d'Oro Award" in 2013. Currently, Pirgu is on tour in Europe to promote "Il Mio Canto."

To learn more about Saimir's work, visit his website or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Merkin Concert Hall's innovative programming, intimate scale and near perfect acoustics have earned it a reputation as one of New York City's finest concert venues. Noted in the New York Times for its "reputation for avant-gardism of a cool and cerebral nature," Merkin presents adventurous work-including many world premieres-by contemporary composers and some of today's most acclaimed and inspiring performers. In addition to cutting-edge new music, Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center presents some of the best new talents in the classical world, celebrations of musical theater with Broadway's top professionals and lively musical revues for children and families.


What: "Il Mio Canto" Recital by Saimir Pirgu
Where: Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center 129 West 67th Street, New York, NY 10023
When: Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 8pm
Tickets: Price: $30; online at or by phone at 212.501.3330

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