The Vieness Piano Duo Holiday Concert Interview

November 12, 2023

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We’re excited to have The Vieness Piano Duo return to our stage, this time inaugurating The Athena Foundation for the Arts first official Holiday Concert!🎉

These award-winning pianists in their own right, Eva Schaumkell and Vijay Venkatesh will be bringing us a fantastic festive 4-hand piano program featuring Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Vaughn Williams’ Fantasia on Greensleeves and Johann Sebastian Bach’s God’s Time is the Very Best Time, sprinkled with holiday favorites including Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride and more, set to sparkling imagery and lighting. What a great way to start the Holiday Season! 🎶🖼️

I caught up with Eva and Vijay to learn the story behind their curated concert. So grab your favorite holiday beverage, relax and enjoy the story!

LRW: Eva and Vijay, it is such a pleasure to have you grace our stage again, this time for the holidays. Your April 2023 Spring Concert was spectacular, especially the animal imagery paired with Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals. You could hear the audience catch their breath! It seemed only fitting to have you create Athena’s first ever Holiday Concert. Word has already spread to our students and followers, and the excitement is building.

May I ask, how did you decide on the pieces curated for the concert? Why these composers? Why now?

E&V: For the Holiday concert we chose a fun blend of classical piano works traditionally performed during the Christmas season, including Tchaikovsky’s iconic Nutcracker Suite and his “December” from The Seasons, as well as favorite holiday songs arranged as concert-pieces. So we have a lot of pieces even young children will recognize, but with a twist! The 4-hand arrangements are engaging to watch and allow a richer texture and sound suitable for a classical concert.

LRW: Festive, fun and educational! I appreciate that youngsters will be able to be engaged along with seasoned concert goers. Piano students will no doubt be inspired. Can you hint at the beautiful imagery you’ve selected for your pieces and why they were chosen?

E&V: Just a lot of sparkly Christmas, Hanukkah, and Winter themed imagery to put you in the holiday spirit!

LRW: Sounds gorgeous! Do you have plans to record these festive duos and solos?

E&V: We have already recorded some and they are available on youtube in our Holiday reel!

LRW: Fantastic! I’m now subscribed to your YouTube channel and encourage Athena subscribers to consider doing so as well. In closing, may I ask, do each of you have a favorite holiday quote by a composer or musician that you’d like to share with our readers?

E&V: English composer J. Rutter’s words resonated with us:
“It’s kind of the world as we all wish it could be, for just those precious few days each year. A time of stillness and yet of rejoicing. So Christmas will always be very special in my heart and it’s always been celebrated in music.” J. Rutter
It’s kind of the world as we all wish it could be, for just those precious few days each year. A time of stillness and yet of rejoicing. So Christmas will always be very special in my heart and it’s always been celebrated in music. ~… Share on X

LRW: That’s lovely. Thank you for sharing your story with our readers. We’re eagerly looking forward to your magical holiday concert!

To learn more about The Vieness Piano Duo, please enjoy visiting their website and social media platforms.
Website
Instagram
YouTube
Facebook

Would you like to join us at the concert? Please see below.

CONCERT DETAILS:

Date
Sunday, December 3, 2023

Time
Doors Open: 3:15 PM
Concert: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM PDT
Delicious Seasonal Refreshments afterwards

Place
Community Auditorium
Church of Scn of the Valley
11455 Burbank Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 91601
•This concert is hosted exclusively by The Athena Foundation for the Arts.
•It is not a church event.
•The Community Auditorium is made available for rent to nonprofits and other charitable organizations. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email us. Thank you.

FREE Parking: Farmdale Avenue lot and street parking

Tickets
Purchase tickets on Eventbrite here or scan the QR code at the door. Cash or Credit card payments also available.
Questions? Please feel free to email us. Hope you can join us!
. . . . . . . . . .
The Athena Foundation for the Arts sets the stage, providing world class performing arts programs to enrich and educate the community. If you enjoyed this story, please feel free to share on your favorite social media to get the word out about our nonprofit! Thank you for your support.

Want first notice on more upcoming Athena art and cultural events? Subscribe in the footer! You can learn more about The Athena Foundation for the Arts concert series by clicking the link or feel free to explore the website.

Help The Athena Foundation for the Arts by donating today! Donations are deductible to the full extent of the law and go directly to providing accessible world class cultural performing arts programs, making a difference in our community. Corporate sponsorships are available, too.
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6 Comments

  1. Barry Wehrli

    An exciting program by two artists we know deliver an exceptional performance!

    Reply
    • Linda Wehrli

      Indeed! Thanks for your lovely comment. So glad you are able to attend.

      Reply
  2. Zubin Grogg

    I was at the Athena concert last month and it was a great program and saw Eva perform with the Solasta Piano Trio. The holiday concert looks like a lot of fun and good way to start the holiday season!

    Reply
    • Linda Wehrli

      So glad you could join us last month. Thanks for the kind words. Happy Holidays to you and family!

      Reply
  3. Phyllis Pelteson

    Their wonderful performance sets the holiday mood in full swing.

    Reply
    • Linda Wehrli

      Agreed! Thank you 🙂

      Reply

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