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Portraits of Adrian Anantawan and José André Montano.

Closing Celebration

  • Open Captioning
  • ISL Interpreted

Venue: Online

25–25 March 2021

To mark the end of three extraordinary weeks, the Closing Celebration featured an incredible performance by two talented VSA International Young Soloist musicians.

Each year outstanding young musicians with disabilities from around the world are selected to receive the The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts VSA International Young Soloists Award.

Delegates tuned in on the final day of Symposium to be swept away by moving performances by Adrian Anantawan from Canada, and José André Montano from Bolivia, on Thursday 25th March from 3:30pm GMT.

This Closing Celebration was open captioned and had Irish, American, and British Sign Language interpretation.

About Adrian Anantawan

Adrian Anantawan holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music, Yale University and Harvard Graduate School of Education. As a violinist, he has studied with Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman, and Anne-Sophie Mutter; his academic work in education was supervised by Howard Gardner. Memorable moments include performances at the White House, the Opening Ceremonies of the Athens and Vancouver Olympic Games and the United Nations. He has played for the late Christopher Reeve, Pope John Paul II, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Adrian has performed extensively in Canada as a soloist with the Orchestras of Toronto, Nova Scotia, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Montreal, Edmonton and Vancouver. He has also presented feature recitals at the Aspen Music Festival and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. He has also represented Canada as a cultural ambassador in the 2006 Athens Olympics, and was a featured performer at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Adrian helped to create the Virtual Chamber Music Initiative at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Centre. The cross-collaborative project brings researchers, musicians, doctors and educators together to develop adaptive musical instruments capable of being played by a young person with disabilities within a chamber music setting. He is also the founder of the Music Inclusion Program, aimed at having children with disabilities learn instrumental music with their typical peers.

From 2012-2016, he was the co-Director of Music at the Conservatory Lab Charter School, serving students from the Boston area, kindergarten through grade eight—his work was recognized by Mayor Marty Walsh as a ONEin3 Impact Award in 2015. Adrian is also Juno Award nominee, a member of the Terry Fox Hall of Fame, and was awarded a Diamond Jubilee Medal from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to the Commonwealth. He is the current Chair of Music at Milton Academy and on faculty at Boston University Tanglewood Institute during the summer. Throughout the year, Adrian continues to perform, speak and teach around the world as an advocate for disability and the arts.

About José André Montano

15-year-old José André is a Bolivian jazz pianist who taught himself how to play piano from a very young age. His playful and inspired compositions bridges: Jazz, Blues, Bossa Nova, Latin American Folklore, and World music. He is a musician who flavors his tunes with Latin rhythms and jazz harmonies. Anyone who has the opportunity to hear him play is amazed by his musical talent. Despite his very young age he has already delighted audiences from prestigious festivals and concert halls across the Americas.

He made his first international appearance in Sao Paulo- Brazil, and at the age of 9 he performed at The John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC. He also has had appearances in Italy, Malaysia, Finland, Canada and others worldwide.  In the Washington area, he has performed at the DC Jazz Festival, Mid Atlantic Jazz Festival, and other venues. He has shared stage with, Marcus Miller, Jason Moran and Renee Fleming among others.

His talent has led him to be on the list for the piano chair in many big bands including the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Youth Orchestra, the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra and the NJW All-Star Jazz Orchestra.

Washington Performing Arts’ as part of the Mars Urban Arts Initiative presented José André and his trio, as part of a season-long series of events showcasing Latinx artists who live in Washington, D.C.

José Andre is one of the winner of the 2019 award hosted by the VSA International Young Soloists Competition, a Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program that recognizes talented, emerging artists from all over the world.

At the 2nd annual Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind “Lighting the Way” Gala, José André was one of the distinguished awardees recognize for his achievements and talent.

Captioning (OC) is similar to television subtitling and gives deaf and hard of hearing people access to live performances.

Irish Sign Language (ISL) is the sign language used in the republic of Ireland. The language makes use of space and involves movement of hands, body, face and head. A sign language interpreter interprets what a person says or signs simultaneously, or immediately afterwards.