Acclaimed musician to perform

Published 9:57 am Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Austin’s Ian Shapinsky will showcase his virtuoso piano skills in a recital Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre.

The recital is a preview of his upcoming performance for the Minnesota Beethoven Festival, a concert series in Winona that features some of the world’s greatest artists.

Shapinsky’s performance at Winona State University on Saturday, July 11 is already sold out, but he will perform the same program for Sunday’s concert, which features a range of styles and composers, including Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms and Chopin.

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“It’s a monster program and really difficult to play,” Shapinsky said.

At only 15 years old, Shapinsky was accepted into the Julliard School of Music, and has won critical acclaim and distinction over his 40 years of concertizing both in the U.S. and abroad. His awards include Recitalist of the Year, The Presidential Citation from the New York Federation of Music Clubs and first prize in two Miami Beach National competitions.

As a musician who learned to appreciate classical music at a young age and father of two, Shapinsky hopes to attract younger audiences to his concert.

“I’m trying to build audiences of the future and inspire kids to come to it,” Shapinsky said. “I think you have to show kids that music can be fun and exciting, like many other things.”

Shapinsky also teaches piano and presents lectures on classical music regularly. He has recorded three CDs, which can be ordered from his Web site, and is considering recording a popular standards album.

Apart from performing, lecturing, recording and teaching, Shapinsky is pursuing another artistic interest: writing. He is in the revising stages of a book on the Jack the Ripper murders, which he plans to publish and sell.

But no matter what form Shapinsky brings the arts to Austin, he is acutely aware of the importance of the arts in the community, as well as future generations.

“The idea is that you can take a community such as this and show beautiful cultural events,” he said.

“I’ve always tried to show that the Paramount Theatre shouldn’t be just a theatre, but more like a community center.”

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Paramount Theatre or at the door for $6 for children, $12 for adults and $20 for stage seating. For more information, call 434-0934.