Music for Youth holds benefit concert March 19

Music for Youth Inc. will hold its 15th annual benefit concert Musical Bridges on March 19, at 4 p.m., at Southport Congregational Church, 524 Pequot Ave. MFY is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the love of live music in the community through the free Young Persons’ Concert series, the Young Artist Showcase series, the residency and exchange programs in schools, and the awarding of a scholarship to an outstanding senior in the music community. The benefit concert will raise funds from the concert’s ticket and donations for the MFY outreach programs it sponsors in the community.

The benefit will feature pianist Andrew Armstrong, violinist Darwin Shen and student ensembles. Andrew and Darwin met in 1989 at local competition. They played as a duo at a benefit concert in New Canaan in the late 1990s and have continued to play together once a year since then. They will engage you in a classical music experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat; where the unexpected is inevitable and laughter is a given.

Darwin Shen, violinist, has appeared as a soloist with the Young Artists’ Philharmonic, the Danbury Symphony Orchestra, the Cheshire Symphony Orchestra and the Mid-Atlantic Chamber Orchestra. He is an active soloist, chamber musician, coach and clinician while maintaining an active teaching studio with prize-winning students throughout the country at the high school, college and graduate levels.

Delighting audiences throughout the world, pianist Andrew Armstrong, has been praised by critics for his passionate expression and dazzling technique. He has performed solo recitals and appeared with orchestras in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States and has performed at Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, and Warsaw’s National Philharmonic. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with violinist James Ehnes; cellist Robert deMaine; the Elias, Alexander, the American, and Manhattan String Quartets, and as a member of both the Caramoor Virtuosi at the Caramoor International Music Festival. Since 2010, he has been a member of the Amelia Piano Trio.

Before beginning his career as a concert pianist, Armstrong received over 25 national and international First Prizes. In 1996, he was named Gilmore Young Artist. At the 1993 Van Cliburn Competition, where he was the youngest pianist entered, he received the Jury Discretionary Award. The New York Times wrote, “Armstrong may have been the most talented player in the competition…. He’s a real musician. We’ll hear more from him.” As the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported, Van Cliburn himself, “in a rare showing of enthusiasm for an individual competitor,” called Mr. Armstrong “Fabulous! Fabulous!” In chamber music, Armstrong has collaborated with violinist James Ehnes, releasing 4 CDs to critical acclaim.

Benefit tickets may be reserved online at musicforyouth.net or by calling 203-254-0123. Tickets are $75 reserved seating; $50 for general admission and $15 for students. There will be a $5 surcharge for tickets purchased at door. A reception will follow the concert.

For more information contact 203-254-0123; musicforyouthct@gmail.com.

Andrew Armstrong

Andrew Armstrong

Violinist Darwin Shen

Violinist Darwin Shen

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