Aficionados of vocal and instrumental classical music already know the borough of Red Bank (plus its landmark Tower Hill Church and Count Basie Theatre) as the area’s undisputed headquarters for such cultural commerce — a welcoming harbor for everything from the Monmouth Symphony and Monmouth Civic Chorus, to the New Jersey Chamber Singers and the Monmouth Conservatory of Music.
If there remains something of a “best kept secret” on the scene, it would have to be St. Thomas Episcopal Church, the West Side house of worship (at 26 East Sunset Avenue) that recently became the area’s host venue of choice for the highly regarded touring presentations known as the Impromptu! Classical Music Recital Series. And this Saturday night, the series returns to Sunset as the church’s grand Yamaha piano welcomes the expert touch of the celebrated 24-year old composer-pianist Nicolas Namoradze.
Scheduled for 7:30 p.m., the event marks the second Impromptu concert at St. Thomas (following a February matinee featuring the 13 year old prodigy Adam Jackson) — as well as the local debut of Namoradze, a Georgian-born native of Budapest, Hungary who made his American debut in 2012 (and who has become known as much for his facility with contemporary music, as for his critically hailed interpretations of canonical classics by Beethoven and Liszt).
As the Impromptu series is produced by the Drozdoff Society — an organization whose “core mission is the preservation, promulgation, publication, performance, and recording of the solo piano and voice compositions of the Russian-American pianist and composer, Vladimir Drozdoff, 1882-1960” — Saturday’s program will include a Namoradze performance of Drozdoff’s “Sonata No. 17 in E-flat minor.” Also on the bill will be J.S. Bach’s “Partita No. 6 in E minor” and Schumann’s “Humoreske Op. 20,” as well as an extra special treat: a pair of Namoradze’s original compositions.
Take it here for tickets ($20 per person; children under 13 free with reserved ticket) to the May 13 concert event — and stay tuned for updated news on future schedulings in the concert series at St. Thomas.