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Music & Chocolate: Piano Duo to Perform Dvořák's Slavonic Dances & Legends

Date: 13 February 2024 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Venue: Czech Embassy

In celebration of the Year of Czech Music, the Embassy of the Czech Republic invites you to a special concert featuring piano duo Mary-Victoria Voutsas and Nolan Alexander Ancil performing Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances & Legends on February 13, 2024, at 6 pm. The program will also include solo piano works from Dvořák’s Poetic Tone Pictures performed by Voutsas. Bring your loved one for a taste of delicious chocolate from Steiner & Kovarik Prague Chocolate and a memorable evening of music. 

Antonín Dvořák, one of the most prominent Czech classical composers of all time, left an enormous musical footprint on the United States. Dvořák’s fascination with his ethnic roots and folk melodies gained him an invitation to direct New York’s National Conservatory of Music and develop an American music style. Taking in the sounds of Native and African Americans, Dvořák produced in the 19th century one of the most listened to symphonies on Earth – Symphony No. 9, From the New World. This beautiful piece inspired U.S. Astronaut Neil Armstrog in the 20th century as he took man’s first steps on the moon. Dvořák’s legacy also thrived through his students, who taught American legends George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, and Duke Ellington. This year marks the 120th anniversary of his death.           

The Year of Czech Music is a celebration held once a decade on every year that ends on the number four, a number that marks many Czech music anniversaries. Throughout the year, the Embassy will present the works of extraordinary Czech composers. This year, in particular, also features the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bedřich Smetana, known as the “father of Czech music.” In the fall, the Embassy will highlight Smetana in its annual Mutual Inspirations Festival.                

Event Details: 

Date/Time: February 13, 2024, 6 pm     

Location: Embassy of the Czech Republic          
3900 Spring of Freedom Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008

RSVP required: czechembassylist@gmail.com
Please include the number of people in your party and the names of all the people in your party.

About the Pianists:     
Mary-Victoria Voutsas has performed solo at many notable venues, including the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage & Terrace Theatre. She is also one of the visiting Artists in Residency for Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts and has done accompaniment/ensemble work for the National Symphony Orchestra, and collaboratively performed on NPR’s Tiny Desk series. She holds the 2023 Gold Medal for the Nobel-Artist International Competition, 1st Place in the World Music Competition of Charleston (2023), 1st Place in the UK International Music Competition Professional Category (2023), 2nd Place in the 20th Century Competition of Charleston (2023), Bronze Medal for the Carles & Sofia: Alicia de Laroccha International Piano Competition (2023), and is the 2023 Platinum Medal recipient for the Quebec International Music Festival. She has performed as a harpsichord soloist for “What Makes It Great?” accompanied by the Peabody Chamber Orchestra at the Lisner Auditorium. She holds her masters in Piano Performance from Catholic University and is further attending to receive her DMA. Her records are available under the Greek Chamber Music Project label featuring solo recordings of Vasili Kalafati, and original arrangements of Manos Hadjidakis for prepared piano.

Pianist Nolan Alexander Ancil is praised for his “clarity”and “singing tone.” He has performed both nationally and internationally (South Korea, Italy), as well as via simulcast (Spain). Notably, he has performed with the University of Louisville Symphony Orchestra (2021) as the winner of the 2021 Concerto Competition. He also performed as a soloist, via global simulcast with the Festival Internacional de Música de Tecla Española (FIMTE) Granados Marathon (2018), and as a soloist and chamber player in the Orfeo Summer Music Festival (2018). Nolan is currently a doctoral candidate in piano performance at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. under Dr. Ivo Kaltchev, and the recipient of a piano scholarship. He has also received his MA in Piano Performance from The University of Louisville (UofL) studying with Dr. Anna Petrova. At UofL, Nolan was the recipient of a full graduate teaching assistantship. He received a BA in Piano Performance from the University of Texas El Paso, where he was the recipient of the William K. Hill Scholarship for Piano Performance and received the 2020 award for most outstanding performer.

Steiner & Kovarik Prague Chocolate  
Steiner & Kovarik Prague Chocolate is a Czech family owned premium chocolate company founded in 2005. A consistent recipient of the international Great Taste Award, Steiner & Kovarik produces only the highest quality of handmade chocolates manufactured in its own local factory. Wide varieties of chocolates are wrapped in luxurious gift packaging featuring unique designs and motives. It is a family business integrating originality with the power of love.