Two Nights of Spectacular Artistry in the Artistry in the North Carolina Symphony’s Beethoven Festival atUNC REX Healthcare Summerfest, June 16 and 17 Each Night Features a Different Conductor and Pianist to Present a Piano Concerto and a Symphony; Two-Night Event Culminates with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony

Natasha Paremski, piano

The North Carolina Symphony celebrates the range and power of Beethoven with a two-day festival at the 2016 UNC REX Healthcare Summerfest in Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre, with two different programs, on Thursday June 16, and Friday, June 17.  Thursday’s program begins with the revolutionary Third Piano Concerto, played with the Symphony by the striking and dynamic Natasha Paremski, and closes with the intimate and complex Seventh Symphony; on Friday, visionary pianist and composer Michael Brown will open the concert with the lyrical First Piano Concerto—and after the intermission, the orchestra opens with the four most well-known notes in all of musical history as the Beethoven Festival ends with the Fifth Symphony.

North Carolina Symphony Resident Conductor and Summerfest Artistic Director William Henry Curry will conduct the Thursday concert; Associate Conductor David Glover takes the podium on Friday.

Natasha Paremski, piano (Thursday)

Born in Moscow, Natasha Paremski moved to the United States at the age of eight and became a US citizen shortly thereafter.  She began her piano studies at the age of four, and made her professional debut at nine. Her honors include winning the Gilmore Prize in 2006, at the age of 18.  Her first recital album, released in 2011, debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard Traditional Classical chart.  She has recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Fabien Gabel, and played with major orchestras across the United States and Europe. 

In the 2010-11 season, Ms. Paremski played the world premiere of a sonata written for her by Gabriel Kahane, and has extended her range beyond the traditional concert hall in projects including Twin Spirits, a project starring Sting and Trudie Styler that explores the music and writing of Robert and Clara Schumann, released on DVD.  In 2014 she recorded Benjamin Britten’s Cello Sonata with cellist Zuill Bailey, sharing a disc with Mr. Bailey’s performance with the North Carolina Symphony and Music Director Grant Llewellyn of Britten’s Cello Symphony.  This is Ms. Paremski’s debut performance with the North Carolina Symphony.

Michael Brown, piano (Friday)

Winner of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Michael Brown is equally committed as a pianist and composer.  Selected by Sir András Schiff for his “Building Bridges” series in 2016-17, Brown will make debut solo recitals in Berlin, Frankfurt, Florence, Milan, Antwerp, Zurich, and New York’s 92nd Street Y.  He joined the roster of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program in 2015.  He regularly performs concertos and recitals, solo and in a trio with violinist Elena Urioste and cellist Nicholas Canellakis, and frequently performs recitals with each of them.

Recent works as a composer include a Piano Concerto for the Maryland Symphony Orchestra (with himself as the soloist) and four works for the Canellakis-Brown duo including “Self-Portrait,” with an original film written and directed by Canellakis.  Brown has recorded several albums, including an all-George Perle CD for Bridge Records and a solo album for CAG Records, four-hands with his teacher, pianist Jerome Lowenthal.  A native New Yorker, he earned dual Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Piano and Composition from The Juilliard School.  He has appeared in Alice Tully Hall as winner of the 2012 Juilliard William Petschek Piano Debut Recital Award.

Sponsors and Partners

Summerfest 2016 is presented by UNC REX Healthcare, co-sponsored by First Citizens Bank, and hosted by the Town of Cary.  Summerfest Instrument Zoos are sponsored by MetLife Foundation.  Media sponsors are Cary Magazine, FOX 50,, and MIX 101.5/WRAL-FM. 

Thursday’s concert is made possible in part by The Arthur and Campbell Moss Solo Artist Fund; Friday’s concert is made possible in part by The Charles E. Potts/Fanny R. Potts Guest Pianist Fund.

This year’s UNC REX Healthcare Summerfest concerts are also included in’s “Artify: The Arts in Parks, a convergence of arts organizations celebrating 100 years of parks, the art that happens in them and the art inspired by them.”

The 11-concert UNC REX Healthcare Summerfest Series offers music lovers a perfect family outing, and once again, concertgoers who display the biggest and boldest culinary skills can win prizes. The Whole Foods Market of Cary Picnic of the Week contest returns for the seventh year. Throughout the summer, groups of concertgoers selected as the most impressive picnickers of that weekend’s concert will receive a $100 gift basket from Whole Foods Market of Cary. Two honorable mentions in the form of $25 gift cards will also be awarded. Select UNC REX Healthcare Summerfest Series concerts also feature other pre-concert activities, including Summerfest Instrument Zoos sponsored by MetLife Foundation for kids of all ages.

Tickets and Subscriptions

Booth Amphitheatre is located at 8003 Regency Parkway in Cary, N.C.

General admission lawn seating to “Summerfest Opening Night” is $28 in advance, $30 at the door. Covered table seating is also available for $30 in advance, $33 at the door.  Children 12 and under are admitted free for lawn seating at all UNC REX Healthcare Summerfest Series concerts.

Flex tickets on the lawn and reserved seating for covered tables are also available for the entire series, on sale through June 10. Flex tickets allow music lovers the easiest access to the UNC REX Healthcare Summerfest Series, for savings of up to 40% when compared to single-concert ticket prices. For more on becoming a series subscriber, visit the UNC REX Healthcare Summerfest Series page at

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