Applause for A Musically Gifted Diva
This past weekend we had the honor of attending a private concert held by Kristin Center, a wonderfully talented young Diva.
At age 18, Kristin Center won the Gerschefski Competition Scholarship and at age 19 she became alternate finalist for the Seattle International Piano Competition. Later that same year she was the pro-Mozart Society Scholarship winner in Atlanta, a position that would fly her all expenses paid for the first time overseas to study and perform. The following year she became the GMEA first prize winner holding a recital debut in Savannah, GA. She has performed nationally in Seattle, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston and New York and internationally in Austria and France. Kristin held a full scholarship to Southern Methodist University where she studied with Alfred Mouledous (a student of both Walter Gieseking and Alfred Cortot) and Alessio Bax (winner of the 2009 Avery fisher Career Grant). Her previous predominant piano teachers were African Diaspora specialist, William Chapman Nyaho and Martha Thomas, the chair of the piano department at UGA where Kristin was the first performance student to complete a four-year Bachelors Music degree in three years. Kristin has recently developed her classical music technique working with artists such as Murray Perahia, Menahem Pressler, Orli Shaham, Jean Paul Sevilla, Robert Levin and Andrzej Jasiński in festivals including the International Keyboard Institute held in New York City and the Mozarteum Summer Institute in Salzburg, Austria where she also held full scholarships. While studying in France, Kristin worked with retired theory department heads of the Paris Conservatoire.
Upon returning to the United States after her France studies, Kristin began performing more and more of her own compositions that were widely received by a local fan base in Dallas. Within a short time she was performing at notable venues in Texas, such as the Kessler Theater, opening for Texas' superstar and state musician, Sara Hickman. Soon thereafter she performed at the Bitter End in New York City (a popular performing venue for Tori Amos, Billy Joel, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga and many more), New York's National Underground, Kenny's Castaways, Sycamore in Brooklyn and LA's famous Roxy Theater. At jazz dive, Lucid, Kristin opened for "The Teaching" in Seattle.
In the Winter of 2009 Kristin co-founded with Michael Jackson an innovative program intended to bring classical music to a wider audience. This program is called Classical Open Mic (COM) and initially transpired at a local coffee house in downtown Dallas where diverse ethnic groups collected. Kristin and Michael drew talented students from SMU and other local colleges to perform for these audiences and begun a wave of new-found respect for classical music in the local hangout. The musicians also benefited tremendously from the program with the added practice performing and time connecting to the audience about their piece(s).
Kristin's biggest passion involves exposing the truth and generating activism, as heard in her lyrics and witnessed in her actions by those closest to her. This shines especially bright when it comes to protecting the organisms that have trouble speaking for themselves. Her love of wild cats early on determined one of the outlets for this passion and Kristin has focused much of her musical assets on helping make a difference in the lives of great animals whose habitats, like many others, are constantly being taken from them.
Kristin Center is definitely a young Diva we should applaud! Follow this Musical Diva here via her website.