Myra Presents : Ila Yakushev and Thomas Mesa

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November 24th, 2019 - November 25th, 2019

Nov. 24, 2019, 2 p.m., at North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks

Nov. 25, 2019, 7:30 p.m., at Mayville State University

Cellist Thomas Mesa and pianist Ilya Yakushev join together to present Intimate Classics at the North Dakota Museum of Art. A Cuban-American cellist, Mesa has established himself as one of the most charismatic, innovative and engaging performers of his generation. Mesa was the winner of the $50,000 first prize in the 2016 Sphinx Competition (Detroit), the Thaviu Competition for String Performance (Chicago, 2013), Astral Artists 2017 National Auditions (Philadelphia) and the Alhambra Orchestra Concerto Competition (Coconut Grove, Fla.) He has appeared as soloist with orchestras in the United States and Mexico, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Santa Barbara Symphony, Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra which received this rave review from the Cleveland Plain Dealer: "A listener with closed eyes would have been hard pressed to distinguish (Mesa's) shapely, expressive performance from that of another gifted artist two or three times his age."

Russian Ilya Yakushev who won the 2005 World Piano Competition, received his first award at age 12 as a prize-winner of the Young Artists Concerto Competition in his native St. Petersburg. Many awards followed. In 1997, he received the Mayor of St. Petersburg's Young Talents award and in both 1997 and 1998, he won first prize at the Donostia Hiria International Piano Competition in San Sebastian, Spain. In 1998, he received a national honor, the Award for Excellence in Performance, presented to him by the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation in Moscow. Yakushev attended the Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music in his native St. Petersburg, Russia, and subsequently came to New York City to attend Mannes College of Music where he studied with legendary pianist Vladimir Feltsman.

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