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Piano series continues with Henry Kramer

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LEWISTON Henry Kramer, an accomplished member of the new generation of American pianists and a former Maine resident, appears at the Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston on Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the fifth recital of this season's piano series.

The first half of the program features Schubert's 'Piano Sonata in A major, Op. 120,' Chopin's 'Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52' and Brahms 'Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 35 (Book I).' Following the intermission, Kramer will perform two major works by Prokofiev: 'Piano-Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 80' and 'Piano Sonata No. 6 in A major, Op. 82.'  Canadian violinist Cordelia Paw will join Kramer in performing the piano-violin sonata.

Kramer, a 2005 graduate of Cape Elizabeth High School, went on to receive undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Juilliard School of Music and is currently completing his study for the Artist Diploma at the Yale School of Music. 

His performances have been lauded by the New York Times as 'triumphant' and 'thrilling' and by Montreal's La Presse as 'technically effortless.' Most recently, he garnered the top prize at the Sixth Shanghai International Piano Competition, where he also received the prize for Best Performance of Strauss Lieder. He was also a major prize winner in the 2010 National Chopin Competition and the 2011 Montreal International Music Competition.

In 2010, Kramer participated in the International Holland Music Sessions, during which time he performed five recitals across the Netherlands and, in the spring of 2012, made his European solo recital debut at Amsterdam's famed Concertgebouw. 

He has also performed as soloist with the Shanghai Philharmonic, the Bilkent Symphony in Ankara, Turkey, the Orchestre Metropolitain de Montreal, the University of Miami Frost School of Music Orchestra, the Bangor Symphony, and, just last season, the Portland Symphony. This spring, he returns to China to perform Prokofiev's 'Piano Concerto No. 2' with the Shanghai Philharmonic.

Kramer was originally drawn to the piano at age 11, when he discovered that he could play by ear his favorite songs from radio and the movies. He didn't take piano playing seriously, however, until his family moved to Cape Elizabeth a year later, and he began lessons with Elizabeth Manduca in Portland. During his senior high school year, he commuted every weekend to study in the Juilliard School's Pre-College Division.

In August 2006, he visited the Franco-American Heritage Center to try out its new Steinway concert grand piano, and during the following Christmas break he returned for the first recording session ever made at the Center. His debut Franco Center public recital followed in March 2007.

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