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National Bell Festival Films on Location at Historic Perry Belmont House

Grand Stair of the Perry Belmont House in Washington, D.C.

Grand Stair of the Perry Belmont House in Washington, D.C.

Recital streamed from Beaux-Arts mansion will feature pianist Elizabeth Hill in a program highlighting the rich diversity and history of piano works in America.

We are thrilled to bring this concert to the world from the historic Perry Belmont House in the heart of Washington, D.C. – a truly fitting atmosphere to equal the impressive pedigree of artists. ”

— Paul Ashe, Director, National Bell Festival

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA, December 9, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — The annual National Bell Festival, taking place on New Year’s Day, will this year conclude with a performance on piano by acclaimed musician, Elizabeth Hill. A recognized leader in contemporary music advocacy, Ms. Hill has toured across the U.S. and Europe as a solo performer, educator, and lecturer. Her appearance at the National Bell Festival will close a day-long program of community events, cultural experiences, world-class performances, and one-of-a-kind activities – all free, streamed online, and open to the public.

Ms. Hill’s recital, titled “First and Forward,” will highlight composers who span more than a century of creative exploration and who are recognized for making substantial contributions to the American canon: Florence Beatrice Price (1887 – 1953), Robert Nathaniel Dett (1882 – 1943), William Grant Still (1895 – 1978), and contemporary Armenian composer living in San Francisco, Tatev Amiryan. Each represents a ‘first’ or advancement in their field, and are further united by their riffs upon the musical language of heritage, of folk and sacred music, to forge new and boundary-reshaping narratives in their art.

The setting for this recital will equal the impressive pedigree of artists: The Perry Belmont House in Washington, D.C. Now the world headquarters of the General Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, the Perry Belmont House was built between 1907 and 1909 to serve as a winter residence and entertaining space for American politician and diplomat, Perry Belmont, and his wife, Jessie Robbins Belmont. Edward, Prince of Wales, was a notable guest of the house in 1919. Built in the Beaux-Arts style, the house continues to feature an incredible collection of treasures from Europe, the Americas, and Asia.

One such item in the collection: a gilt Steinway & Sons Model B grand piano. Classic motifs and leaf-sprays in gold adorn the instrument, one of only three in this style known to exist. Ms. Hill will command the instrument during her roughly half-hour recital, bringing to life a piece of American history in both the architecture that surrounds and the music that is conveyed. Past meets present. Present challenges expectations and propels the future. This is a concert for the New Year.

This recital is free, open to the public, and will be available to stream online at 4:30pm Eastern on New Year’s Day: Jan. 1, 2021. For additional information and to register for connection details, visit: BellFest.org/events

The Program

Fantasie Nègre, No. 4, Florence Beatrice Price

In the Bottoms, Robert Nathaniel Dett
– Prelude: Night
– Barcarolle: Morning

Three Visions, William Grant Still
– Dark Horsemen
– Summerland 
– Radiant Pinnacle

Ortus, Tatev Amiryan

About Elizabeth Hill
A recognized leader in contemporary music advocacy, pianist Elizabeth G. Hill has performed across the US and Europe in service of her life’s work: joining cultures together through music. She is a proud performer within numerous chamber ensembles within the Washington, D.C. area, serving as Principal Pianist for her duo Meraki, and ensembles, Balance Campaign, and Symphony Number One, all of whom are active in performing and commissioning contemporary music.

Also known for her work as a solo performer, educator, and lecturer, Elizabeth is a private piano teacher in the DC metro-area, and serves on the Collaborative Piano Faculty at the HeifetzPEG International Music Institute. She has given numerous lecture recitals and presentations across the United States. Originally raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Elizabeth holds degrees from Mary Baldwin College (B.A.), James Madison University (M.M.), and The Catholic University of America (D.M.A. with a specialization in Chamber Music). For more information: ElizabethGHill.com

About the Perry Belmont House
If architecture is frozen music, surely The Perry Belmont House is one of the greatest symphonies ever composed. It has anchored a prominent location in Washington, D.C. for over a century, a testament to the quality of its construction and to the dedicated stewardship of its residents. Perry and Jessie Belmont began construction of the mansion in 1906 when he was a Congressman and Ambassador to Spain, and a leading Washington socialite. At the turn of the 20th century, Washington, D.C. was an international capitol, as well as the political and social center of the United States.

The Perry Belmont House is possibly the finest, intact example of a Beaux Arts style mansion in Washington, D.C. The exterior decoration is reminiscent of 15th and 16th century French chateau architecture, and its most prominent feature is the grand upper floor, capped with a copper-trimmed slate roof, accented with magnificent stone urns and finials. There simply is no grander space in Washington, D.C. to entertain. The history, architecture, and priceless decor is unparalleled.

About the National Bell Festival
The National Bell Festival rings in the New Year with an annual celebration in Washington, D.C. As a canopy of sound erupts from bell towers overhead, a city-wide festival of free public performances and experiences in art, culture, and historical interest activities happens below. Nationwide bell ringing contributes to the cacophony, as communities from coast to coast join in the pealing at 2:00pm Eastern. Throughout the year, the National Bell Festival also refurbishes historic bells that have fallen silent and restores them to their former thundering glory. For more information: BellFest.org

Paul Ashe
National Bell Festival
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