Last Saturday evening, August 29, 2105, Venetian Arts Society (VAS), in association with The Chopin Foundation of the United States, presented Margarita Shevchenko, winner of The International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, for the first annual VAS Chopin Salon at Decorative Arts & Fine Antiques in Fort Lauderdale.
In the style of the historic Salons of 19th century Paris and Warsaw, a diverse, international, and sophisticated gathering of 150 members and guests enjoyed elegant hors d’oeuvres, wine and champagne while greeting old friends and making new ones. For an hour or so, everyone enjoyed stimulating conversation and toured the opulently atmospheric galleries of Decorative Arts & Fine Antiques.
At 8:00 pm the party gathered in “candle-lit, museum-like” main gallery around the Steinway grand piano. William (Willie) Riddle, President of Venetian Arts Society, welcomed everyone and introduced Jadwiga Gewert, the President of The Chopin Foundation of the United States, for an enlightening explanation of the life and music of Fryderyck Chopin and the critical inter-relation of the Salon experience with Chopin as a composer and performer.
Ms. Gewert then introduced the guest artist for the evening, Margarita Shevchenko, one of the leading young pianists on the international concert platform today. She has won top prizes at major international piano competitions including the Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. She has been the recipient of the “Special Chopin Prize” at five competitions in addition to seven top prizes she has won at major international piano competitions in Europe, Japan and the United States. Margarita is currently a Piano Professor at Miami International Music Academy and served at the jury of the 2015 National Chopin Piano Competition.
Margarita took us to a place above and beyond life’s trivialities with her mesmerizing offerings of Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 62 No. 1 in B-major, Polonaise Op. 44, in F-sharp minor, and Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor, op.31. Truly, this was the quintessential intimate and interactive Art Salon experience and I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to witness in person Margarita’s soulful artistry and brilliant technique in such an intimate and atmospheric manner! On behalf of everyone in attendance at last Saturday’s Chopin Salon, I would like to express our most sincere gratitude and awe to Margarita Shevchenko for her majestic talent and The Chopin Foundation of the United States for helping to make the evening such a great success!
Venetian Arts Society wants to express the most heartfelt thank you to the organizations that helped made this event possible: Decorative Arts & Fine Antiques and Abington Auction Gallery for hosting The Chopin Salon in their magnificent gallery, to Grandmasters Pianos for supplying the beautiful Steinway piano, to our ever faithful Lenore Nolan-Ryan Catering for the extraordinary hors d’oeuvres, and to Steve Watkins of The Hana Box for the gorgeous flowers that completed the atmosphere for The Chopin Salon with an elegant flourish.