TEANECK When cellist Ani Kalayjian takes the stage at the Puffin Cultural Forum’s third "On the Rise" concert on Jan. ‘7, she will be showcasing not only this local arts venue but also the institution where she took her first lessons, the Thurnauer School of Music at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly. The concert marks the first in a series of collaborative projects between On the Rise and Thurnauer.
"Puffin approached us [about the collaboration] before they knew that Ani who is now an accomplished cellist started the cello here at Thurnauer," said Dorothy Roffman, director of the school.
"We’re going to open the concert with a group of young cellists, which is exactly where Ani was 15 years ago," Roffman noted. "This is an opportunity to give our students performing experience and to see, in their early years of learning an instrument, where it can go." Yari Bond conducts the student ensemble.
Roffman founded the music school in 1984, with the late William and Maria Thurnauer of Fort Lee. Its students have performed at such venues as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, while alumni have gone on to study at music institutions including Juilliard, Manhattan, Mannes, Berklee, Cleveland Institute, and the Royal College of Music and Royal Northern College of Music in England (where Kalayjian is pursuing her postgraduate diploma).
"This partnership is ideal because both organizations are committed to excellence in programming and presenting art of the highest caliber," said Tim Blunk, director of Puffin Cultural Forum. "Both organizations also strive to ensure that our programming is accessible to everyone according to the philosophy of the Thurnauer School’s scholarship program with Englewood schools and the Puffin Foundation’s subsidizing the ticket prices so that everyone can attend."
Kalayjian has appeared in concert both as a soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Canada, and Europe. With the accompaniment of British pianist Sam Armstrong, her program at Puffin is to include sonatas for piano and cello by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and Barber, with contemporary works by John Tavener and Bohuslav Martinu.
The 4 p.m. performance will be preceded by a 3 p.m. talk with the cellist, aimed especially at young musicians interested in careers in music.
Ticket prices are $15 adults; $1′ seniors and students; free for children under 13.
Puffin is located at ‘0 Puffin Way (formerly East Oakdene Ave., off Teaneck Road) in this township. For more information, call ’01-836-89’3 or click on the Calendar of Events at puffinfoundation.org.
Another On the Rise concert is scheduled for April 13, featuring Roffman’s daughter Sharon, a violinist and Thurnauer faculty member. "This is the very beginning and I’m hoping this partnership will grow," said Roffman.