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January 16, 2006


Well-known area pianists will perform with the Monmouth Civic Chorus in its April 1 concert entitled Four Pianos and a Wedding. Vladislav Kovalsky is Executive and Artistic Director of the Monmouth Conservatory of Music, Red Bank, and a faculty member at Georgian Court University, Lakewood. Chiu-Tze Lin is Music Director and Conductor, Manalapan Battleground Symphony. Raphael Fusco is a Neptune native and a graduate of Red Bank Regional High School for the Performing Arts as well as the Mannes College of Music.

The concert also features a quartet of outstanding vocal soloists: Dean Elzinga, bassbaritone, Metropolitan Opera; Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano, Juilliard Opera Center; Jorge Garza, tenor, Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music; and Jennifer Zetlan, soprano, Mannes College of Music. Monmouth Civic Chorus Artistic Director Dr. Mark Shapiro will conduct and provide engaging, enlightening commentary on the music.

The concert features four grand pianos and six percussionists in two vibrant choral works by musical geniuses of the 20th century. Stravinsky’s Les Noces (The Wedding) is a haunting and passionate work that combines hypnotic Russian chant with the explosive sound of four pianos and a breathtaking array of percussion. It will be sung in Russian with English supertitles. Also on the program will be William Walton’s dazzling oratorio Belshazzar’s Feast, in a new four-piano arrangement, which the Chorus commissioned from Raphael Fusco. The performance is supported by Steinway & Sons and the Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation.

The concert is at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 1 at the Count Basie Theatre, 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, New Jersey. Tickets are $30 and $25, seniors $27 and $22, groups of 10 or more $25 and $20, and students $10 and $5. Renaissance Society members and Jersey Arts Ticket cardholders are entitled to group rates.

The Monmouth Civic Chorus under the baton of Dr. Mark Shapiro has been called “close to perfect” by the Asbury Park Press and “alluring… magical… ideal” by The Star-Ledger. The Chorus has sung at the cathedrals of Vienna, Florence, and the Vatican, and by invitation at Carnegie Hall and with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. Dr. Shapiro is on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music in New York and the European-American Musical Academy at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. For tickets and further information, call (732) 933-9333 or visit