Christmas Pops concert features quintet of sibling piano virtuosos
Five polished musicians playing five highly polished grand pianos all on the same stage: that will be the visual and acoustic wonder when Rockefeller Arts Center at the State University of New York at Fredonia presents “Christmas with The 5 Browns” on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in King Concert Hall.
The 5 Browns — Ryan, Melody, Gregory, Deondra, and Desirae — all attended New York’s Juilliard School, the first family of five siblings ever accepted simultaneously.
This dynamic program will be a mix of popular and classical holiday favorites including “Carol of the Bells,” music from “The Nutcracker,” “Star Wars: Suite for Five Pianos,” selections from “West Side Story “and a truly fresh “Sleigh Ride.”
“Christmas with The 5 Browns” is a DFT Communications Pops Series event sponsored by Bahgat & Laurito-Bahgat, Certified Publics Accountants as part of the Lake Shore Savings Season.
The 5 Browns enjoyed their first wave of critical attention in February 2002 when People magazine dubbed them the “Fab Five” at about the same time they were featured on Oprah and 60 Minutes. The quintet has released three CDs that each went to number 1 on Billboard Magazine’s Classical Album Chart.
The New York Post has proclaimed: “One family, five pianos and 50 fingers add up to the biggest classical music sensation in years…When these kids do Rachmaninoff, they’ll make you forget about Marshall amps.”
The quintet has garnered extensive coverage from media outlets ranging from The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show, and The View, to CNN, Fox and Friends, Public Radio’s Performance Today, as well as The New York Times, Parade, People, the Los Angeles Times, the Sunday London Telegraph and Entertainment Weekly.
The 5 Browns tour extensively and have performed in numerous venues including Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium, Grand National Theater in China, Suntory Hall in Japan and, in the United States, The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Symphony Hall in Chicago and Alice Tully Hall in New York City.
Individually and collaboratively, they have soloed with orchestras around the world, including the Saint Louis Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre de chambre de Paris.
In addition to touring, The 5 Browns are published writers. Their book, “Life Between the Keys,” a lighthearted collection of personal stories, was published by Phoenix Books in March 2009. The group was also featured in a PBS TV special, “The 5 Browns In Concert” which aired on PBS stations throughout the country.
A highlight for the quintet was a commissioned five-piano concerto written by famed composer Nico M˘hly. Under the direction of Maestro James Conlon, the concerto premiered in 2011 at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Tickets are available through the Fredonia Campus Ticket Office in the Williams Center, by phone at 716-673-3501 or online at fredonia.edu/tickets