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 kicked off the 2018-19 Performing Season for the North End Music & Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC) on Friday, September 28 at the North Bennet Street School, Windgate Hall, with a passionate performance.

Dr. Christina Wright-Ivanova, Dr. Francesco Mastromatteo and NEMPAC Executive Director Sherri Snow.

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’s collaborative performance featured a thrilling program showcasing their artistic harmony 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).

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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” – Francesco Mastromatteo

Francesco regularly performs throughout Italy and the U.S. He currently acts as Artistic Director for both the Associazione Amici della Music “G. Paisiello” in Lucera, Italy, and the non-profit organization Classical Music for the World in Austin, Texas. He won the first prize in the National Cello Competition “G. Turci” in Ravenna, and first prize as a duo with pianist Tommaso Cogato in the International Competition “Città di Padova”. He has also collaborated with pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi on a CD recording of Grieg’s Cello Sonata, which can be heard on Centaur Records.

Christina has premiered over fifty works by living composers, and has performed both solo and collaborative new works, and as a chamber musician throughout the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia. She is the Assistant Professor of Music and the Coordinator of Piano & Collaborative Piano at Keene State College, NH. She is also on faculty at New England Conservatory’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice and is a Vocal Coach at UMass Amherst. She can be heard in CD recordings on New World Records, ARS Produktion and MSR Classics.

This concert was preceded by special performances of three award-winning students in our community. Nell Jacobsen, voice student, lively performed I 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, and Ruby Wines, Inc. sponsored wines. Johanna Carrengal and Dianne Royle were part of the fundraiser committee.

The North End Music & Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community arts organization operating out of the heart of the North End and surrounding communities in Boston.  Founded in 2001, NEMPAC has enriched Boston’s North End Waterfront and local neighborhoods through quality, affordable music education and performing arts programs. As a growing Performing Arts Center, they engage their audiences with creative, quality, and innovative programming.

To learn more, you can visit www.nempacboston.org.

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