School of Music

Olivier Messiaen Anniversary Concert: Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant-Jésus

Olivier Messiaen Anniversary Concert

Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)

Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant-Jésus (1944)

Pianists Chiharu Naruse, Anastasia Antonacos, and Bridget Convey

The USM School of Music will present three dynamic pianists in a rare performance of a magnificent work on Friday, November 9, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be held in Corthell Concert Hall on the USM Gorham campus. Tickets are $6 for the general public, and $3 for students, seniors and USM employees. Reservations are suggested; tickets are also sold at the door. Visit the Music Box Office online for more details, or call (207) 780-5555.

A pre-concert lecture will be given by Dan Sonenberg from 6:30 to 7, with a brief break before the concert begins.

Olivier Messiaen was one of France's most influential composers and teachers of the 20th century.  He embodied a unique combination of mystic and musical revolutionary. Messiaen composed a series of pieces featuring the piano, including in 1944, the enormous solo piano cycle Vingt Regards sur L'Enfant-Jésus (Twenty Contemplations on the Infant Jesus). With twenty movements of challenging difficulty, Vingt Regards is one of the most ambitious and exhausting piano works ever composed. 

Generally, the work is presented on concert programs by a selection of movements. In this concert, you will hear the entire work, with the heavy burden of performance shared by three pianists. Directly after Messiaen's death in 1992, the Da Capo Chamber Players (who will be at USM in March 2013) presented a memorial concert of Messiaen's music at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. Bridget Convey was at that concert and says she was "instantly inspired by his music."

Pianists Anastasia Antonacos, Bridget Convey, and Chiharu Naruse will perform the complete Vingt Regards sur L'Enfant-Jésus to honor the 20th anniversary of the Messiaen's death. Another delight will be added to this performance, as images will be projected to represent the story and/or meaning of each of the twenty movements. 

Come and experience the rare opportunity to hear this magnum opus composed by one of the most influential composers of the 20th century.  

For reservations and concert information, visit the Music Box Office at, or call 207-780-5555.


Anastasia Antonacos has given notable performances around the world as a solo recitalist and chamber musician.  She has played at venues such as the Salle Cortot, Casa Orfeo, Holland's Alkmaar Conservatory, and Alice Tully Hall. She has also played in Greece, Russia, France, and Belgium, as well as various places in the U.S., including Washington D.C., where she testified for funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. 

She won First Place at the International Young Artist Music Competition in Bulgaria, and she holds prizes from the Capdepera International Piano Competition in Mallorca and the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition. In 2004 the Greek Women's University Club of Chicago awarded her the Kanellos Award. She attended the Holland Music Sessions, the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, and the Wilhelm Kempff Beethoven Course in Positano, Italy, where she was one of eight pianists selected for an intensive study of Beethoven led by John O'Conor. Dr. Antonacos has made solo appearances with the Northshore Philharmonic Orchestra, the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. She has collaborated with violinist Joseph Silverstein, and with members of the Vermeer, Cassatt and DaPonte Quartets. She has been a chamber music coach at Bay Chamber Concerts' Next Generation program for many years, and she regularly serves as a masterclass teacher and adjudicator. She holds a doctorate in piano performance from Indiana University in Bloomington, and she was a member of the full-time piano faculty at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for two years.  She lives with her husband and daughter in Portland, where she was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of Portland by the Phoenix

Bridget Convey, piano - As a soloist and ensemble musician, pianist Bridget Convey has been heard throughout the United States performing music of diverse periods and styles. She has performed at venues such as Lincoln Center (NYC) and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Los Angeles, CA) (with the Los Angeles Philharmonic); Ojai Music Festival, CA; Fechin Institute Chamber Concert Series, Taos, NM; Maybeck Performing Arts Studio, Berkeley, CA; Bowdoin College, ME; UMaine, University of Maine at Augusta; University of Southern Maine; Southern Utah University; Emery Community Arts Center at UMF; several venues in Portland, ME; among many others.

Bridget has been specifically sought after as a New Music pianist and featured musician at several National and International Festivals. She was invited to perform at the International New Music Festival at CSSN in Las Vegas, NV; "Artist in Residence" at the University of Minnesota-Duluth Spring New Music Festival; and featured lecturer and performer at the MMTA Spring Convention at UMaine and USM; at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Columbus, OH; and at the "Satellite Salon Series" at Southern Utah University.

Since Bridget relocated to Maine she has performed throughout Central and Southern Maine.  She works regularly with the Maine Music Society's Androscoggin Chorale and pianist Chiharu Naruse.  Bridget serves as part-time faculty at the University of Maine at Farmington and Bates College.

Bridget received her Diploma from Mannes College of Music, NYC (Pre-college Division) 1989; BFA from State University of New York at Purchase 1993; and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts 1997.  She currently resides in Hallowell with her husband and two dogs.  Bridget can be heard on Navona, Cuneiform, Independent and Nataraja labels.

Chiharu Naruse, pianist, holds a Master Degree in Music Performance and a Masters Degree in Music Instruction from the Hochschule Fur Music Hanns Eisler in Berlin. In Berlin, Chiharu studied piano under Klaus Baessler and Lied Accompaniment under Wolfram Rieger. Chiharu has performed throughout the world in recitals and piano competitions including the Hyogo Piano Competition in Japan(silver prize), the Clara Haskil piano competition in Switzerland,the Pescara Academie piano competition in Italy and International Mozart Wettbewerb in Salzburg, Austria.

In the spring of 2002,Chiharu moved to the United States to study under Frank Glazer. Since her arrival, Chiharu has given several recitals at Bates college and University of Maine at Farmington and at Augusta. She has also played concerts with the Portland String Quartet, with the DaPonte String Quartet, and with Frank Glazer. She has performed Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto, Mozart's Piano Concerto K466, and Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto with the Augusta Symphony. Also, she has performed as a featured artist at the Ocean Park Music Festival and at the Franco-American Heritage Center. 

In addition to maintaining a regular performance schedule, Chiharu is also a well-respected music teacher, chamber music coach, music competion adjudicator and accompanist, with many of her students receiving competition prizes.  Chiharu currently is a member of the applied music faculties at Bates college and the Portland Conservatory of Music. 

Those needing special accommodations to participate fully in this program, contact Lori Arsenault, (207) 780-5142, Hearing impaired: call USM's telex / TDD number (207) 780-5646

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