Soka Performing Arts Center Presents Violinist Alexi Kenney And Pianist Renana Gutman

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Soka Performing Arts Center presents violinist Alexi Kenney and pianist Renana Gutman on Friday, February 21, 2020 at 8pm. The program includes Mozart's Sonata No. 21 in E minor; Messiaen's Louange à l'Immortalité de Jésus (Praise to the Immortality of Jesus) from Quartet for the End of Time; Schubert's Variations on "Trockne Blumen" in E minor; Stravinsky's Airs du Rossignol (Nightingale Air); Enescu's Sonata No. 3 in A minor.

Tickets are on sale now and start at $27-$55. They are available for purchase online at, at the Box Office at 1 University Drive in Aliso Viejo or by calling 949. 490.4278.

The recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, violinist Alexi Kenney has been named "a talent to watch" by The New York Times, which also noted his "architect's eye for structure and space and a tone that ranges from the achingly fragile to full-bodied robustness."

The 2018/19 season saw Kenney return as soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony, debuting with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, and the Asheville, Omaha, Wheeling, and Bay Atlantic symphonies, and in recital at Wigmore Hall, Union College, Portland 'Ovations,' and the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern festival, among others. He also appeared as guest concertmaster of both the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

Kenney has performed as soloist with the Detroit, Columbus, Jacksonville, Santa Fe, Portland, California, and Amarillo symphonies, and appeared in recital on Carnegie Hall's 'Distinctive Debuts' series, Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., the Dame Myra Hess Concerts in Chicago, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Jordan Hall in Boston. He is winner of the 2013 Concert Artists Guild Competition and laureate of the 2012 Menuhin Competition. Kenney has been profiled by Strings Magazine and The New York Times, written for The Strad, and has been featured on Performance Today, WQXR-NY's Young Artists Showcase, WFMT-Chicago, and NPR's From the Top.

Born in Palo Alto, California in 1994, Kenney is a graduate of the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he received his Artist Diploma and BM under the tutelage of Donald Weilerstein and Miriam Fried. Previous teachers include Wei He, Jenny Rudin, and Natasha Fong. He plays on a violin made in London by Stefan-Peter Greiner in 2009.

Praised by The New York Times for her "passionate and insightful" playing, Renana Gutman has performed across four continents as an orchestral soloist, recitalist and collaborative artist. She played at venues like The Louvre Museum, Grenoble Museum (France), Carnegie Recital Hall, People's Symphony Concerts, Merkin Hall (New York), St. Petersburg's Philharmonia (Russia), Stresa Music Festival (Italy), Ravinia Rising Stars (Chicago), Jordan Hall, Gardner Museum (Boston), Herbst Theatre (St. Francisco), Menuhin Hall (UK), UNISA (South Africa), Marlboro (VT), and National Gallery, Phillips

Collection, and Freer Gallery (Washington DC). Her performances are heard frequently on WQXR Young Artists Showcase, NY, WFMT Dame Myra Hess, Chicago, and MPR in Performances Today, MN.

Renana was one of four young pianists selected by the renowned Leon Fleisher to participate in his workshop on Beethoven piano sonatas hosted by Carnegie Hall, where she presented performances of "Hammerklavier" and "Appassionata" to critical acclaim. Her recording of Chopin etudes op.25 will be released in 2019 by "The Chopin Project" - listen here.

A top prize winner at Los Angeles Liszt competition, International Keyboard Festival in New York, and Tel-Hai International Master Classes, she performed concerti such as Brahms 2nd, Rachmaninoff-Paganini Variations, and Beethoven's "Emperor" with the Jerusalem Symphony, Haifa Symphony, Belgian "I Fiamminghi", and Mannes College Orchestra. Her festival appearances included Marlboro and Ravinia, where she collaborated with prominent musicians like pianist Richard Goode, clarinetist Anthony McGill and members of the Guarneri string quartet, to name a few.

High in demand as a chamber musician, Renana toured with "Musicians from Marlboro", and served as the collaborative pianist of Steans Institute at Ravinia Festival from 2012-2018, where she performed chamber music and lieder extensively. In last seasons, she performed chamber music with violist Kim Kashkashian, violinist Miriam Fried, and clarinetist Charles Neidich. She tours regularly with violinist Alexi Kenney, winner of Avery Fisher Grant.

Renana premiered newly commissioned music by Paul Schoenfield, Tamar Muskal, Judith Zaimont, and other living composers. She is also dedicated to performing obscure pieces by Jewish composers who perished in the Holocaust; Erwin Schulhoff, Viktor Ullmann, and others.

A native of Israel, Renana started playing at the age of six, and soon after, garnered multiple awards and honors. She received scholarships from the America Israel Cultural Foundation, and the Jewish Foundation for the Education of Women. She completed her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at Mannes College of Music, NY, where she studied with Richard Goode. In Israel, her teachers were pianists Natasha Tadson, Viktor Derevianko, and the Israeli composer Arie Shapira.

About Soka Performing Arts Center

Now is in its ninth season of presenting the best of live performances on its extraordinary stage, Soka Performing Arts Center, located on the campus of Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, California, is under the new leadership of General Manager Renee Bodie. The 1,000-seat concert hall features world-class acoustics designed by Yasuhisa Toyota, acoustic designer of noted performance venues like Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.

Designed to truly reflect the university's commitment to sustainability, the concert hall and adjacent Maathai Hall (featuring a black box theatre and dance studio) have been built to Gold LEED standards and feature vegetated green roofs. Photo voltaic cells on the Soka Performing Arts Center roof generate approximately 15% of the facility's electrical needs.

Soka University of America is a private, non-profit, four-year liberal arts college and graduate program. The campus is ranked in the Top 30 National Liberal Arts Colleges in U.S. News and World Report's "Best Colleges 2020." The university is open to top students of all nationalities and beliefs and was founded upon the Buddhist principles of peace, human rights, and the sanctity of life. For more information, please visit

Alexi Kenney

Sunday, February 21, 2020 at 8pm


Event URL:

Regular Tickets: $27/$37/$48/$55

Discount Tickets: Senior, Student and Active Military: $24.30/$33.30/$43.20/$49.50

In Person: 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656


Phone: 949.480.4ART (4278)

All information is accurate at the time of printing but is subject to change.

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