Garner Cleveland Record

Love and piano music in the air Feb. 14

Jonathan Levin
Jonathan Levin

Organizers of the Clayton Piano Festival will present another one-stop romantic outing with dinner, music, and song Saturday, Feb. 14, at the Historic Wagner House, 121 E. Main St., Clayton. This concert will be a departure from all other CPF events so far, in that it will feature music from multiple musicians.

“The idea was to show the great versatility of the piano as a collaborative instrument and to feature some world class performers in other musical disciplines in the process,” said Jonathan Levin, the festival’s founding director. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do for one of our events and I thought it to be particularly appropriate for our Valentine’s Day concert, which has had such a broad appeal to all audiences, concert-goers or not.”

Levin will perform and will be joined by violinist Michael Danchi and mezzo soprano Nora Graham-Smith. For the past few years Graham-Smith has sung roles in operas the world over, collaborating with artists and conductors like Lorin Maazel.

She is currently a resident artist at Opera Memphis in Tennessee. Danchi is no stranger to the Triangle area, and has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as a violinist, composer, ballet dancer, sound engineer and screenwriter. He has performed locally as a soloist with the Raleigh and Durham Symphonies and with the Carolina Ballet both as violinist and dancer.

In addition to dinner, the event will feature an eclectic musical feast. “You’ll hear violin works, songs and musical theater numbers all transcribed for the piano, you’ll hear vocal works on the violin, and you’ll hear a mix of songs ranging from classical opera to Broadway hits,” said Levin, who will premiere some of his own piano transcriptions of songs from the Great American Songbook.

After the concert there will be a reception where the audience will be able to mingle with the performers. For details and to reserve tickets, contact Paul Blackat at 919-585-1221. For more information about Clayton Piano Festival go to