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A.W. Duo cello and piano concert at Grace Episcopal Church

Posted: February 11, 2014 5:01 p.m.
Updated: February 12, 2014 5:00 a.m.

A.W. Duo, a piano and cello duo made up of pianist Alyona Aksyonova and cellist James Waldo, will perform a benefit concert at Grace Episcopal Church in Camden on March 28. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. at the church, 1315 Lyttleton St.. Proceeds from the concert will support Heartfelt Home Repair, Grace Church’s ministry to the elderly and underprivileged.

The A.W. Duo invites seasoned listeners as well as first-time concertgoers on a unique and multidimensional musical experience, pairing eloquent and informative commentary with exciting musical interpretations of pieces by Beethoven, Myaskovsky, Scriabin and Debussy.

In June 2013, the duo performed at the Spoleto Festival.

“Their interpretation was absolutely ravishing!” Piccolo Spoleto Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus Ellen Dressler exclaimed. “They elevated the music to such height of intensity and tenderness, evoking tears among many members of the audience. It was a sublime moment in the festival’s 35-year history. These gifted young players are true artists who can transport the listeners in their audience straight to heaven!”

In 2004, Russian pianist Aksyonova began her ongoing and vivacious romance with New York City when she came to the United States on an invitation to study. The invitation came from Tamara Poddubnaya, a competition judge who had heard Aksyonova’s top-prize playing at the Governor’s International Competition for Young Musicians in Vologda, Russia. With loving support from the tight-knit community of her hometown of Voronezh, Aksyonova made the leap of faith and left home for the musical adventure of a lifetime.

Aksyonova’s outstanding musical and pianistic talent has helped her to amass a sizable resume of top prizes, recognitions and special awards from international competitions, as well as multiple appearances as soloist with orchestra. She is in high demand as a collaborative pianist, participating regularly in solo and chamber recitals and various recording projects.

Waldo maintains an active performance career marked by diversity and adventure. He can be heard immersed in the music of J.S. Bach in the sanctuary of a church, elaborating on the life of Rachmaninoff during an A.W. Duo visit to the local Y, or even shaking the rafters of a barn with Spirits of Red City, a touring contemporary folk ensemble. No matter the occasion, Waldo brings his devotion to music from all walks of life.

In New York, Waldo works as a freelance chamber musician, session artist, orchestral cellist and continuo specialist in period performance work with baroque cello and viola da gamba. Waldo also curates the Listen Closely chamber music series in Northern Manhattan, providing time-honored masterpieces and brand new works to a culturally under-served neighborhood.


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