Who is the youngest concert pianist in NC?

He did it again! Our very own Christopher Tavernier, who turned 13 at the beginning of May, won first place in The Tar River Young Artists Competition. This year’s competition, which was for pianists only, took place this past Saturday in Rocky Mount, NC.  Christopher, who is in sixth grade, was the youngest contestant. Winning this competition gives him the honor of playing as a soloist with the Tar River Philharmonic Orchestra on October 24 at the Wesleyan College “Dunn Center for the Performing Arts” in Rocky Mount. He is the youngest concert pianist in North Carolina. Congratulations Christopher!

It was just a short time ago that Christopher played Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Minor, Op 23 (video above) for the Asheville Symphony Young Artist Competition in which he won Honorable Mention.  He performed the same piece for the Tar River competition.  The concerto became a “household name” when the young American pianist Van Cliburn achieved notoriety in 1958 as the first prize  winner of the very first Tchaikovsky Competition.  Van Cliburn’s recording of the concerto became the first classical recording to turn platinum.  Christopher says, “When I first heard this piece.  I could not get it out of my head and I wanted to perform [it] with an orchestra.  My dream just came true. and I am so honored and so excited to play [it] with the Tar River Philharmonic Orchestra.”  His teacher, Dr. John Cobb, Freeburg Pianos’ “Artist-in-Residence,” describes the piece as “one of the longest and most difficult of all piano concertos. Only professional pianists of the highest caliber and the most  gifted and advanced students can hope to perform it well.”

017My, oh my. Can you imagine? What were you doing in sixth grade? Let’s see. . . I was just learning to play flute and cello and the music was very simple. I don’t even think I knew anyone who competed in music or anything. Oh, wait a minute. I won first place in a baton twirling contest. I still have the little medal in my hope chest. I also won some blue ribbons in 4-H . I managed to sew a dress that actually fit and I baked some delicious blueberry muffins and displayed them in a breakfast table setting on my grandmother’s lavender gingham tablecloth. There you have it, my youthful “claim to fame.”

049Christopher is an amazing young man. We are very blessed to know him and have the opportunity of supporting him with love and pianos. Christopher is quick to give credit to Freeburg Pianos for being part of his success by providing Perzina pianos tuned to Equal Beating Victorian Temperaments for his performances.  Christopher says, “Perzina is my ‘piano of choice’ because I can easily draw out the rich tone colors of the music.”

Please keep checking the Freeburg Pianos Events Calendar to see when and where Christopher is playing. We have a lot of great events coming up – see information on the “World Masterworks Series” on the side bar. In addition to what’s on the calendar, we have many more amazing events in the planning stages. “Stay tuned.”

“Life is Grand”


One thought on “Who is the youngest concert pianist in NC?

  1. I love the blog! Your perspective on what most of us were doing in the 6th grade gives me an even greater appreciation for the God given gift Christopher has been given! Not only the gift of ability, but the determination to follow his dreams that God planted. Soli deo gloria! Another Bach in the making…what a privilege to witness!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *