Don’t expect the expected from Keyboard Concerts this time around. An appearance by a noted Armenia-born pianist with an unusual program is my top arts pick this week.
The draw: Melikyan is making her first visit to the Keyboard series, but she’s a champion traveler. She has toured throughout Spain, Germany, France, Russia, Canada, Armenia, Japan, Australia, Italy, Serbia and the U.S. Along the way she has performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall in New York, Jordan Hall in Boston, Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, and Salle Cortot in Paris. Among her credits: She has appeared as a soloist with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra of Spain, Cordoba Symphony Orchestra and Valencia Symphony Orchestra.
The program: Andreas Werz, artistic director of the series, is excited about Melikyan’s program. “It’s absolutely rare and fascinating,” he says. Among the pieces: Lowell Liebermann’s Nocturne No. 5, Franz Liszt’s “Nuages gris” and Enrique Granados’ “Goyescas.”
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The co-sponsors: the Fresno State Armenian Studies Program, Thomas A. Kooyumjian Family Foundation and the Armenian General Benevolent Union, Fresno chapter. As you might guess, there will be a large Armenian-American contingent at the concert, and there’s sure to be a tight bond between soloist and audience. That kind of electric connection can make for an exciting event.
Details: 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, Fresno State Concert Hall. www.keyboardconcerts.com, 559-278-2337. $25, $18 seniors, $5 students.
Simon in Selma
The draw: The play is the first in Simon’s “Eugene” trilogy, the playwright’s semi-autobigraphical masterpiece about a boy growing up in working-class Brooklyn. I’ve always thought it was a terrific play. The storyline includes the hilarity for which Simon is known but also tender insight into family dynamics and the wonders of transitioning into adulthood. The Selma Arts Center production is co-directed by Mike Derr and Adam Chavez. Eugene is played by Kevin Carillo.
More online: For an interview with Derr and Chavez, go to www.fresnobeehive.com.
Details: The production opens Friday, Oct. 14, at the Selma Arts Center, 1935 High St., and continues through Oct. 22. Tickets are $15. www.selmaartscenter.com, 559-891-2238.
Hill at 1821 Gallery
The event: Larry Hill’s “Story Lines,” an exhibition of new Abstract Expressionist paintings, opens at 1821 Gallery with an artist’s reception.
The draw: Hill is a longtime local artist and writer who helped establish the Fresno Art Independent Group and was a multiple first-prize winner in the annual San Joaquin Valley Art Invitational. Among his many accomplishments: He exhibited at the Martin Janis Gallery in Los Angeles and the famed Sidney Janis gallery in New York, along with Franz Kline, Willem DeKooning and Jackson Pollock. Hill was one of 25 California artists from California who participated in the Linz International Visual Art Exchange.
The artistic vision: Hill says he believes that a painting must have an initial dramatic impact, a wake-up call to the viewer. At second glance, he says, it should draw one in closer, include tantalizing nuances of drawing and “action” in the paint application.
More online: I’m intrigued by Hill’s artist statement, which includes his impressions of watching Pollock work. Look for it in a post on www.fresnobeehive.com.
Details: The reception is 4-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at 1821 Gallery & Studios, 1821 Calaveras St. The show continues through Nov. 12. www.1821gallery.com, 559-233-9992.