It takes two to Tango, and to the delight of a warm and welcoming audience, world-renowned cellist Dr. Francesco Mastromatteo and acclaimed pianist Dr. Christina Wright-Ivanova duo kicked off the 2018|19 Performing Season for North End Music & Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC) at the North Bennet Street School, Windgate Hall, in the North End of Boston, with a passionate performance.
The evening was introduced by Sherri Snow, NEMPAC’s Executive Director, who thanked “the audience, artists, sponsors, volunteers, and staff for coming together to support NEMPAC throughout its mission to provide quality music education and performance accessible to all. This year, NEMPAC serves 1,400 students per week and 195 Private Music Instruction classes, and your donations to NEMPAC help make this possible.”
Francesco and Christina collaborative performance featured a thrilling program showcasing their artistic harmony, and that included works by composers Argentinian Astor Piazzolla’s Le Grand Tango (1921-1992), Italian Alfredo Carlo Piatti’s Rimembranze del Trovatore di Verdi (1822-1901), and Polish Frédéric François Chopin’s Sonata for Cello and Piano for G minor, Op. 65 (1810-1849).
Francesco returned to NEMPAC as a guest artist to inspire and delight the audience with a powerful performance and colorful introductions for each piece that provided historical background for each composition, opened a window into his own artistic journey, and exposed his love, passion and commitment to their interpretations. “We need more music. It creates a sense of belonging and a sense of community” said Francesco Mastromatteo.
This concert was preceded by special performances of three award-winning students in the community. Nell Jacobsen, voice student, lively performed Got the Sun in the Morning by Reed Morgan; Meara Mahoney Gross, voice student, followed with a moving rendition of Imagine by John Lennon; and Ferdinand Carangelo, piano student, confidently interpreted Adagio by Daniel Steibelt. Voice students were accompanied by Mary Jodice, piano instructor at NEMPAC.
For this fundraiser event, local NEMPAC supporters such as Mike’s Pastry, Modern Pastry Shop, and Bova’s Bakery sponsored desserts; Ruby Wines, Inc. sponsored wines; and a number of donors sponsored raffled baskets. Johanna Carrengal and Dianne Royle were part of the fundraiser committee.