CERRITOS - Long compared to legendary composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein and exalted as "classical music's great evangelist" by the Boston Herald, accomplished composer Rob Kapilow returns to the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts with a "What Makes It Great?" presentation on Jan. 8.The performance is titled "The Piano Music of Chopin: Mazurkas, Nocturne and Polonaise" and also features pianist Ray Ushikubo, along with a Q&A session. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased by calling (562) 467-8818 or online at cerritoscenter.com. Polish composer Frederic Chopin was widely considered among the best pianists of classical music's Romantic period. His work pushed the boundaries of what was deemed possible on the instrument, both technically and emotionally. In "The Piano Music of Chopin," Kapilow explores the late virtuoso's pieces. For more than a decade Kapilow has brought the joys and wonder of music to audiences of all ages and backgrounds with his "What Makes It Great?" presentations, which dissect and examine the mysteries of music in terms everyone can grasp and appreciate. Part One is an entertaining discussion "displaying Kapilow's astounding gift for observation and his animated teaching style." Part Two features performances of the composition. The evening concludes with Part Three, a spirited and eclectic Q&A on the work. The New York Times called the series "the kind of enlightening musical seminar in which you hang on to every word and note." Cited by the Boston Globe as "an educator, motivational speaker and game show host, all rolled up in one," Kapilow has built a loyal following and a name for himself around the world. His renowned "What Makes It Great?" series is a recurring event at New York's Lincoln Center and in Boston, Cerritos and Kansas City. Kapilow's vast catalog of accomplishments includes the highly-praised FamilyMusik series, which introduces youth to all things musical, and Citypieces, which celebrates American life - its history, citizens, diversity and destinations - through collaborative compositions. The scope of Kapilow's influence is far and wide - both geographically and culturally - from Native American tribal communities in Montana to inner-city students in Louisiana to wine lovers who frequent Northern California's Napa Valley. Kapilow claimed the top spot in the Fontainebleau Casadesus Piano Competition, and second prize in the Antal Dorait Conductor's Competition with the Detroit Symphony. Ray Ushikubo, 12, is a recipient of the Young Artist Award and the Colburn Academy Steinway Prize. Ushikubo, who has also performed at New York's Merkin Concert Hall, appeared with renowned pianist Lang Lang at Orange County's Segerstrom Concert Hall. The prodigy also performed on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
********** Published: Nov. 28, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 33