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Composer-Conductor Rob Kapilow presents What Makes It Great?: STRAVINSKY – The Firebird Suite

Long compared to legendary composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein and exalted as “Classical music’s greatest evangelist” by the Boston Herald, ROB KAPILOW opens the 2021-2022 What Makes It Great? series at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts (CCPA) with STRAVINSKY – THE FIREBIRD SUITE on Wednesday, February 2, 7:30 PM. Tickets for the program are $55 and are available at the CCPA Ticket Office and cerritoscenter.com or by calling (562) 916-8500.

The 2021-2022 Season’s What Makes It Great? Series includes CHOPIN – Piano Sonata in b-flat minor (with the famous Funeral March) with pianist Vijay Venkatesh and the Colburn School of Music on Wednesday, March 16; and Swing! The Great Big Bands of the Swing Era with CSUN A Band, directed by Tina Raymond, on Wednesday, April 13. The three-event series costs $117.

Accompanied by conductor KIMO FURUMOTO and the CALIFORNIA STATE FULLERTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, Kapilow explores one of the greatest classical compositions ever written: The Firebird Suite, which catapulted Russian composer-pianist Igor Stravinsky into international fame. A Q&A concludes the evening.

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 gift for observation and his animated teaching style. Part Two features performances of the composition. The evening concludes with Part Three, a spirited 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 acclaimed FamilyMusik series introduces youths to all things musical; and Citypieces celebrates American life – its history, citizens, diversity, and destination – through collaborative compositions.

Kapilow claimed the top spot in the Fontainebleau Casadesus Piano Competition, and Second Prize in the Antal Dorati Conductor’s Competition with the Detroit Symphony. He is a featured composer on Chicago Public Radio’s prestigious Composers in America series and a recipient of an Exxon “Meet-the- Composer” grant and awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He spearheaded the Tony award-winning Nine on Broadway and the premiere of Frida for the opening of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival. He authored the award-winning book All You Have to Do Is Listen; its follow-up What Makes It Great? Short Masterpieces, Great Composers; and Listening for America: Inside the Great American Songbook From Gershwin to Sondheim.

The California State University Fullerton Symphony Orchestra trains instrumentalists in a range of orchestral styles. The students receive opportunities to study and perform with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. Members have played with acclaimed performers such as Yo-Yo Ma, the Turtle Island String Quartet, and the St. Petersburg Quartet.

For tickets or more information, call (562) 916-8500 or go to cerritoscenter.com.

This article was released by the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.