The Fairmont Chamber Music Society will present the Kobayashi/Gray Duo as the second concert of its 2004-05 season at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14, at St. Peter the Fisherman Church, 407 Jackson St., Fairmont.
Violinist Laura Kobayashi and pianist Susan Keith Gray are praised for their blending of brilliant technique, beautifully expressive musicianship, impeccable ensemble and stimulating programming. As winners of the USIA Artistic Ambassador auditions, the Duo toured South America and the West Indies and in 1995 received second prize in the Contemporary Record Society's National Competition for Performing Artists. The pair frequently tour throughout the United States performing standard works as well as compositions by women composers. The Duo's debut CD "BOLDLY EXPRESSIVE! Music by Women" is on the Albany Records label. The CD features four premier recordings including "Grande Sonate, Op.8" by 19th century French composer Marie Grandval, which the Duo edited for Hildegard Publishing Company.
Laura Kobayashi performs extensively as a soloist and chamber musician and has participated in numerous music festivals throughout the United States. A former member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, she has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the University of Georgia, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Brevard Music Center. Currently she is a member of the faculty at West Virginia University and performs with the West Virginia Piano Quartet. Kobayashi has studied violin with Dorothy DeLay, Andrew Jennings, Paul Kantor and Denes Zsigmondy and has performed in the master classes of Nathan Milstein, Ruggiero Ricci, Arthur Grumiaux and Gyorgy Pauk. Chamber music studies have been with members of the Juilliard, Tokyo and American String Quartets as well as with collaborative pianists, Robert McDonald and Samuel Sanders. Kobayashi earned degrees from The Juilliard School and Yale University and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan.
Susan Keith Gray is frequently heard as a collaborative pianist. For three summers, she served on the instrumental accompanying faculty at the Music Academy of the West. As a member of the University of South Dakota Rawlins Piano Trio, she has recorded two compact discs of American piano trios on the Albany Records label and has twice performed the complete cycle of Beethoven piano trios. Other recordings include "The Unknown Flower: Song Cycles by American Women Composers" with soprano Charsie Randolph Sawyer and song cycles of African-American composers for public radio and CD. Gray holds degrees from Converse College and the University of Illinois and the DMA from the University of Michigan.
A reception will follow the concert to allow audience members the opportunity to meet the artists. The program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.
For tickets, call (304) 291-8277.