CLEMSON — Clemson University’s Brooks Center for the Performing Arts presents a wide variety of performances in April, from classical musicians and singers to a Shakespeare-inspired play and a percussion concert.

Father-daughter pianists from Greenville to perform with orchestra

Father-daughter bonding takes many forms, but it isn’t often that it takes the form of virtuoso classical music performance. Fabio and Maria Parrini are that rare duo. Parrini and his 16-year-old daughter, Maria, are world-class pianists based in Greenville who will perform with the Clemson University Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 1.

Conductor Andrew Levin Levin is familiar with both artists.

Father-daughter duo Maria and Fabio Parrini will perform together at the Brooks Center.

Father-daughter duo Maria and Fabio Parrini will perform together at the Brooks Center.

“Fabio has performed twice with the orchestra in the past,” he said. “Then Maria played a few years ago as a winner of our concerto competition as a cellist rather than a pianist. A while later, I attended a performance of the Greenville County Youth Orchestra in which Maria played a piano concerto. As I was waiting outside for the concert to begin, it suddenly struck me that we should find a piece where we could feature the two of them together.”

Discussion of such an event began that evening, as it was on Fabio’s “bucket list” to perform a concerto with his daughter. Levin, who received a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission for the project, said the concert has been a long time coming. “It’s been in the planning stages for two years and I’m excited to finally be able to lead this great event.”

Parrini is a professor of music and piano coordinator at North Greenville University. He has won numerous international piano competitions and given master classes across the country. In addition to performing on several recordings and television broadcasts, Parrini is a Steinway Artist who is repeatedly selected for programs sponsored by South Arts and the South Carolina Arts Commission.

Maria is a senior at Wade Hampton High School and the Greenville Fine Arts Center. She has studied piano since age 3 and has also studied cello with Martha Brons and Christopher Hutton. A member of the Fine Arts Center’s chamber music program, she made her orchestra solo debut as a 13-year-old playing a cello concerto with the Clemson University Symphony Orchestra.

She has won several piano competitions, including the Jan and Beattie Wood Concerto. Passionate about spreading music in her community, Maria organized a benefit concert for the South Carolina Upstate Homeless Coalition in November and she regularly teaches strings to students at the Frazee Dream Center in downtown Greenville.

“[The Parrinis] are both gracious people who have the music itself as their primary focus,” said Levin. “This isn’t about them, but about preparing and presenting this wonderful concerto in the best possible light. It will be a joy to present this concerto to the audience.”

Daughters who attend the performance with their fathers will receive free admission. Just stop by the box office before and tell them.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and are available for purchase online at www.clemson.edu/Brooks and through the Box Office at 864-656-7787 from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Ten Tenors to perform Broadway hits

Internationally acclaimed singers The Ten Tenors celebrate Broadway’s greatest hits when they perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 3, as part of the Boni Belle Brooks. Tickets are $35 adults and $20 for students.

Their Broadway repertoire includes “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha,” “The Phantom of the Opera’s” “Music of the Night” and “Bring Him Home” from “Les Misérables.”

Tickets and information are available at www.clemson.edu/Brooks or by calling the box office at 864-656-7787 from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Clemson Players to perform ‘Melissa Arctic’

The Clemson Players and the performing arts department present Craig Wright’s “Melissa Arctic” in the Bellamy Theatre Monday, April 14, through Sunday, April 20.

Loosely based on Shakespeare’s “A Winter’s Tale,” “Melissa Arctic” is a magical story of redemption and love.

Though chosen by the theater faculty before he was hired at Clemson, director Rick St. Peter has had the play on his radar for a long time.

“When I ran a theater in Kentucky, I shortlisted it a couple of times for season selection, but ultimately never pulled the trigger on it. So it is nice to come back around to it now.”

St. Peter believes it is a fitting play for a university to produce because of the challenge it holds for student participants.

“It is a wonderful piece to stretch our actors with,” he said. “The dialogue is sparse, so much of the meaning of the play is communicated through subtext.”

Intriguingly, he said the play ends on a note of ambiguity, and “the audience is going to have to provide some answers themselves.

“To me that is the hallmark of interesting storytelling,” he said. “So much entertainment these days spoon feeds all the answers to the audience. ‘Melissa Arctic’ refuses to do that. So is it ultimately a play about the redemptive power of love? Finding forgiveness in second chances? Mothers and daughters; fathers and sons? The audience will have to determine that for themselves.”

“Melissa Arctic” will be performed at 8 p.m. Monday, April 14, through Saturday, April 19, and concludes with a Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. April 20. Ticket prices are $11 for adults and $6 for students. They are available for purchase online at www.clemson.edu/Brooks and through the Box Office at 864-656-7787 from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Percussion Ensemble, Steel Band take the stage March 25

The Clemson University Percussion Ensemble and Steel Band will give their final performances of the year at 8 p.m. Friday, April 25, at the Brooks Center.

The Clemson University Percussion Ensemble

The Clemson University Percussion Ensemble

The concert will feature guest artist Chris Wabich, a percussionist whose drum performances can be heard on the tracks of artists like Sting and Leonard Cohen. Wabich also performed on the soundtracks of “Malcolm In the Middle” and “American Idol.”

The Percussion Ensemble’s performance will include “Kid at Heart” by percussion professor Paul Buyer.

He said “Kid at Heart” is an ode to his son, Jackson, and a testament to “how much fun it is to play percussion, bringing out the kid at heart in all of us.”

The Steel Band’s portion of the show guest artist Wabich, who will perform an arrangement of “Sugar Bum Bum,” as well as his original composition, “Toribio & Daisy.”

The Gigging Steel Band closes out the evening with three pieces, including a special steel drum version of “Tiger Rag.”

Tickets, which are $8 for adults and $5 for students, are available for purchase online at www.clemson.edu/Brooks and through our Box Office at 864-656-7787 from 1 to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.

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