JCC Manhattan's PREformances with Allison Charney Concludes Tomorrow, 4/11

JCC Manhattan proudly presents PREformances with Allison Charney featuring violinists Laura Jean Goldberg, Ani Bukujian and Alexandros Martino Petrin, violist Lisa Heffter, cellist Roberta Cooper, pianists Alexei Tartakovsky and Moshe Knoll as well as actor, Jordan Charney, on Monday, April 11th at 12:30pm. The program will feature world premieres by American composers Kim D. Sherman and Moshe S. Knoll, along with Debussy's beautiful "Arpeggio Etude" and Liszt's thrilling "Chasse Neige" for virtuoso piano.

PREformances with Allison Charney is a unique concert series offering audiences rare opportunities to hear celebrated classical musicians just before their performances on the world's most prestigious stages, removing traditional barriers between performer and audience. In its first six years, PREformances has presented over 80 of today's most important classical musicians, nearly 30 of whom have appeared on the season multiple times.

Funds raised through patron support of the PREformances program will support both The Basser Center at the University of Pennsylvania and special programs at The JCC in Manhattan that promote early detection of cancer and care for those living with breast and ovarian cancer.

Located on 76th Street and Amsterdam, JCC Manhattan is a vibrant non-profit community center on the Upper West Side. The cornerstone of progressive programming in Manhattan, the JCC serves over 55,000 people annually through 1,200 programs each season that educate, inspire, and transform participants' minds, bodies, and spirits. Since its inception, the JCC has been committed to serving the community by offering programs and services that reach beyond neighborhood boundaries. Programs at the JCC reach people at all stages of their lives, and serve the entire family and community.

Jewish Community Center in Manhattan

The Samuel Priest Rose Building
334 Amsterdam Avenue at West 76th Street, NY/(646) 505-5708 Subway: 1/2/3 to 72nd St.; Bus: M7 or M11 to West 75th Street Admission: $15; $10 Members; $5 for Ages 62+ http://www.jccmanhattan.org/preformances

Opera singer Allison Charney lost her cell phone in a cab. The JCC of Manhattan Executive Director Rabbi Joy Levitt found it. Upon their meeting, a brand new model for a concert series, PREformances with Allison Charney, was born.

PREformances with Allison Charney is truly unique in the vast landscape of NYC musical offerings, as it affords professional classical musicians of the highest caliber* an opportunity to try out something they are preparing to perform somewhere big, in front of an audience who understands that they are seeing a not-quite- finished product. The performers benefit from the slightly pumped up pressure that any public performance brings, without any worry of a possible review, along with an extra chance to hone their performances in this day of massive budget cuts in the arts which severely limits opportunities for ample rehearsal time. Simultaneously, the audience benefits from an up-close-and-personal, barrier-breaking opportunity to get inside the head of a top-notch performer...see what they think about, what their challenges may be, all while hearing the best classical concerts in New York City.

PREformances with Allison Charney maintains its highly accessible concerts with extremely low single ticket prices. However, in its seventh season, PREformances with Allison Charney will also continue its vastly successful and profoundly impactful charitable relationship with the Basser Center through its fundraising arm: Friends of PREformances.

Inspired by the incredible philanthropy of Mindy and Jon Gray, whose 25 million dollar gift launched the Basser Center at the University of Pennsylvania, PREformances with Allison Charney will be able to help promote awareness and education at the JCC about breast and ovarian cancers, which coincidentally impact women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, thousands of whom walk through the doors of the JCC annually, at a rate of 1 in 44, or 10 times that of the normal population. All gifts starting at $100 include a season subscription for two to PREformances with Allison Charney with many more perks available at higher levels of patronage, including tickets to exclusive concerts in Manhattan's finest private homes.

Begun in the most ordinary circumstances, PREformances with Allison Charney is now blossoming into a most extraordinary program - one that not only creates beautiful music but could also save lives of countless women at risk.

*A sampling of recent PREformances with Allison Charney performers

Alan Gilbert, Music Director, New York Philharmonic
William Burden, tenor, Metropolitan Opera
David Cerutti, principal violist, Orchestra of St. Luke's
Joel Fan, world-renowned pianist and frequent collaborator with Yo-Yo Ma
Navah Perlman, esteemed pianist
Kajsa William-Olsson, principal cellist, Royal Philarmonic Orchestra - Stockholm
Carol Wincenc, Grammy winning flutist
Maria Zifchak, mezzo-soprano, Metropolitan Opera

Soprano Allison Charney's operatic career began in earnest following the national finals of the Metropolitan Opera Competition with her debut at the New York City Opera as Musetta in LA BOHE?ME. She went on to sing most of Puccini's leading soprano roles in opera companies throughout the country, including the title roles in MADAMA BUTTERFLY, TOSCA and SUOR ANGELICA, Mimi in LA BOHE?ME and Liu? in TURANDOT, earning a reputation for her "vocal agility, lush sound and dramatic portrayals" of the lirico-spinto roles in her wide ranging repertoire. Ms. Charney has experienced enormous success with her Mozart interpretations as well, including both Susanna and the Countess in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, both Donna Anna and Donna Elvira in DON GIOVANNI, Pamina in DIE ZAUBERFLO?TE and Sandrina in the rarely-heard LA FINTA GIARDINIERA. She wowed both audience and critics all over the United States with her tour-de-force portrayals of all three heroines in Offenbach's TALES OF HOFFMANN. Her versatility has also led her to sing roles as varied as Rosalinde in DIE FLEDERMAUS, Micae?la in CARMEN, Nedda in PAGLIACCI, Santuzza in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA and the title roles in MARTHA, LA TRAVIATA, JENUFA and THE MERRY WIDOW. Ms. Charney's career has brought her to opera companies across the United States, including the New York City Opera, Atlanta Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Utah Opera, Nashville Opera, Opera Memphis, Annapolis Opera, Opera Theater of Connecticut, New Rochelle Opera, Opera Illinois, OperaDelaware, Utah Festival Opera, DiCapo OperaTheater, Tampa Opera, Opera Idaho, Syracuse Opera, Washington Summer Opera Festival, Colorado Opera Festival and Mississippi Opera. Concert highlights have included performances at Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and as a featured soloist with the esteemed Philadelphia Orchestra. Ms. Charney sang her first performance of Samuel Barber's KNOXVILLE: SUMMER OF 1915 along with the world premiere of Kim D Sherman's newly- orchestrated, INVOCATION, under the baton of JoAnn Falletta, and will sing Beethoven's dramatic concert aria, AH PERFIDO, in a concert conducted by New York Philharmonic Music Director, Alan Gilbert. Continuing her commitment to performing music of our times, Ms. Charney premiered Moshe Knoll's PSALM 133 with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, in a concert that also featured Kim D. Sherman's oratorio (composed for Ms. Charney) SONGBIRD AND THE EAGLE in the spring of 2014, after which she performed in the Rite of Summer Music Festival on Governors Island and made her debut with the Boston Pops under the baton of Alan Gilbert. Ms. Charney is featured in the newly-released, first recording of the Pulitzer Prize nominated oratorio CHOOSE LIFE, by composer Mona Lyn Reese and can be heard in a CD of American songs with pianist, Benjamin Loeb, on the DSC Label. Ms. Charney is a founding member of the ARK trio, who is scheduled to release their first recording in the spring of 2016. Ms. Charney is an active recitalist and master teacher and is the founder and curator of the concert series, PREformances with Allison Charney housed at the JCC Manhattan. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude with highest honors, in Special Concentrations from Harvard University, she went on to earn two graduate degrees in music from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Charney now lives in New York City with her husband, Adam Epstein and their two sons, Evan and Oliver.

Photo: Koon, JCC Manhattan

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