Congregational church to host first concert of Virtuosi season Friday

Published on Thursday, 11 October 2018 21:36
Written by Karla Santos


NEW BRITAIN - The Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra will present the opening concert of its 22nd season tonight at the First Church of Christ Congregational on Corbin Avenue.

The event starts at 7 p.m. with an informal reception and a chance to meet Artistic Director Adrian Sylveen and guest artist Batia Steinbock-Lorenzen. The concert begins at 8 p.m.

“It’s always exciting to start,” Sylveen said Thursday. “What’s really special about tomorrow is that the concert program combines so many different musical elements yet they are all connected together.”

The concert includes works of Josef Suk, Jean Sibelius and George Gershwin.

Steinbock-Lorenzen is a pianist and longtime friend of Sylveen who has traveled from Israel just to perform at the concert.

“She’s the star of the evening,” Sylveen said. “It’s always great to have good musicians. It’s an additional pleasure to have friends. That kind of adds to the atmosphere.”

Steinbock-Lorenzen performed with the orchestra on Thursday for students at Roosevelt Middle School.

Steinbock-Lorenzen said traveling to the United States and exploring New Britain has been an interesting experience. She added that she is excited about tonight’s concert and hopes to see a big audience.

“The pieces in the concert are really beautiful and they have a common subject of folk tunes,” Steinbock-Lorenzen said. “There’s great rhythm in the European harmonies. The music is very unique and it’s also very emotional.”

“We are very excited to present the pieces,” Sylveen said of his 20-piece chamber orchestra.

Connecticut Virtuosi concerts generally attract about 100 people, but Sylveen is hoping for a bigger turnout tonight.

One of the challenges he has faced over the years has been finding the right venue for the orchestra. Sylveen said he is grateful for the support the church has provided.

“It seems to me that the First Church has the best combination of factors. They have a great piano, good acoustics. They are very welcoming to the orchestra,” Sylveen said. “The orchestra actually started there, 22 years ago, and music needs a little bit of that purity that this church has, It’s clean, it’s elegant and it’s fairly easy to access.”

Brunilda Myftaraj is the concertmaster of the orchestra. She is excited about the emotions that music can evoke the performers and the audience.

“For me, it’s not just the different styles that we perform, but it’s really the unexpected. It’s always the emotion of the moment,” Myftaraj said. “The more people come, the more emotions you have toward the music you present.”

Tonight’s program will also be performed Saturday at 8 p.m. at SS. Cyril & Methodius Church in Hartford.

For more information about this and upcoming concerts, visit , or call 860-325-2826.

Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, , New Britain on Thursday, 11 October 2018 21:36. Updated: Thursday, 11 October 2018 21:39.