FAIRMONT — The ambitious young marimba and violin duo, Vision Duo is bringing its blend of acoustic, electronic and multidisciplinary experiences to Fairmont this month.
A program of the Fairmont Chamber Music Society, Vision Duo brings its Electrovision show to Fairmont on Jan. 29 at 3 p.m. at St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church, 407 Jackson St.
Violinist Ariel Horowitz and percussionist and marimbaist Britton-René Collins will perform works by classical and contemporary composers and introduce multidisciplinary elements of modern performance. The Duo explores contemporary classical music, featuring works and arrangements for violin and marimba composed in the 20th century and beyond. They are recipients of the 2020 Concert Artist Guild Competition’s Ambassador Prize, awarded to musicians who show an exceptional level of virtuosity and humanity in their interest in community engagement and bringing the voices of new composers to the forefront.
Both musicians have been internationally recognized for their talents. Horowitz is a prizewinner of the Grumiaux, Stulberg, and Klein International Competitions as well as the Salon De Virtuosi Career Grant while Collins won the 2020 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition as well as the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. Horowitz is a recent graduate of the Yale School of Music and previously studied under Itzhak Perlman and Catherine Cho at The Julliard School. She is currently on the faculty at Mount Holyoke College where she teaches violin and chamber music.
Horowitz is also the founder and artistic director of The Heartbeat Music Project, a tuition-free program providing instruments, music, and Navajo (Diné) cultural knowledge to young people in grades K-12 living in the Navajo Nation. Since its inception in 2016, the Heartbeat Music Project has grown to serve over 60 students and their families with year-round music education, including the annual Summer Academy, Winter Program, and lessons for students in violin, piano, guitar, oboe, recorder, voice, jazz band, and cultural learning.
In 2020, The Heartbeat Music Project became the home of the American Indian Musicians’ Scholarship, a program founded by HMP Teaching Artist Renata Yazzie, Diné pianist and ethnomusicologist. AIMS seeks to provide funding for college-aged Indigenous music students. In 2020, a benefit concert performed entirely by Indigenous musicians was successful in raising over $5,000 for the first round of scholarship awards in 2021.
Collins has dedicated her artistry to shaping a more diverse and inclusive community for all musicians to thrive equally.
She recently launched a blog in which she discusses her experiences in facing various challenges as a minority musician. Collins began playing piano at age 5 and began percussion at 8. She received her bachelor’s of music at the University of Toronto and is currently pursuing her master’s of music at the University of Michigan. A grand prize winner of the 2021 Chicago International Music Competition, Collins has performed as a soloist in the US, Canada and Europe. She has made several concert appearances, including the Grammy Award-winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Valdosta Symphony, and the Meridian Symphony. In addition to her active solo career, Collins enjoys life as a chamber musician and is a percussionist with NYC-based “Excels is Percussion Quartet.” She is also the co-founder of Vision Duo alongside violinist Ariel Horowitz. An advocate for new music, Britton-René’s current projects involve premiering new compositions and commissions for multi-percussion and marimba.
The Vision Duo concert and all FCMS concerts are open to the public. Individual tickets may also be purchased at the door, $10 for adults and $6 for seniors and students. A reception in the church hall will follow this concert where the audience can enjoy refreshments, and meet the artists. The 2022-2023 FCMS concert season is open to everyone without board-mandated COVID protocols. However, mask wearing, though not required, is encouraged inside the church venue.
As part of the FCMS’ Educational Outreach program, Vision Duo will present an abbreviated concert in the church for the students of Fairmont Catholic School on the morning of Jan. 30. The Vision Duo concert is being partially funded through a grant from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and through funding from FirstEnergy Foundation, supporting the FCMS’ Educational Outreach Program.
For more information, please visit fairmontchambermusic.com, the FCMS Facebook page or call 304-366-1768.
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