Byron Janis, the Journey of a Legacy

August 9, 2012
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Pursuing A Voyage Befitting of the Times, Byron Janis Announces YouTube Series, Launches Social Media Campaign, and Releases a Remastered Chopin Compilation CD
 
Legendary, virtuoso pianist, Byron Janis, renowned as one of the world’s greatest concert pianists, has overcome the obstacles of performing with psoriatic arthritis and has also become a composer, an educator, and a humanitarian. He is embarking on a path to bring awareness of the healing power of music as well as its spiritual importance. This year he will participate in a variety of events and numerous appearances in the United States and overseas.

imgMr. Janis’ strong desire to be involved with meaningful and purpose-driven events in line with his humanitarian and educational objectives have led to the redesign of his website, the launch of a social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, as well as a YouTube series, crafted of current and historic excerpts of his life. The series is designed to illustrate his most recent and famous performances as well as highlight tributes to Mr. Janis from prominent individuals from all sectors of performing arts and humanitarians of this century.

The 16-part series will begin with "A Life In Music Honored", and will provide fans and music lovers alike the opportunity to join and watch this renowned icon demonstrate his remarkable range of artistry on stage and the ability to reach out globally through the internet. (YouTube series can be seen here: www.youtube.com/user/byronjanismusic

Through the remarkable new technology of Yamaha Remote Live, Mr. Janis is able to reach people globally while he continues his mission to increase the awareness of the importance of the performing arts. This technology enables a performance played on a Disklavier reproducing piano in New York to be streamed to other Disklaviers anywhere in the world in tandem with a video broadcast, making it ideal for remote master classes and concerts.

Mr. Janis has recently released the digitally re-mastered compilation CD entitled, The Chopin Collection. This new release is a combination of Byron Janis Plays Chopin, which was released in 1996 and Byron Janis True Romantic, which was released in 1998, both with stellar reviews:

"... Anyone with the slightest pretension to cultivation who doesn't possess themselves of this CD commits a gross sin of omission."
- The New York Observer

"...It is no longer the piano which Byron Janis plays; it is the essence of the music itself, coming in a straight line from the soul of the composer...Byron Janis lets you hear Chopin - and that which is heard in his interpretation is enough for our happiness until the end of time. The others cannot compare."
- Journal of Geneva & Gazette of Lausanne

The Chopin Collection brings together for the first time on a single CD both recordings of the two previously unknown versions of Chopin waltzes which he discovered: the ‘Grande Valse Brilliante’ in Eb major (Op. 18) and the Waltz in Gb major (Op. 70, No.1).

At 84, Byron Janis continues his journey as a performer as well as mentoring, composing, and educating. His focus recently has been on children suffering with Juvenile Arthritis, an aspect of the disease that has until now commanded less public awareness. Mr. Janis’ work in the field of arthritis advocacy complements the activities of the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute which is committed to bridging the gap between music and medicine on both scientific and educational levels. Young and old can appreciate the healing power of music. Mr. Janis also serves as the International Ambassador for the Arthritis Foundation and the Presidential Advisor to the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute. The YMWI has merged with the Cleveland Clinic to develop further research on the scientific findings revealing that playing a musical instrument can play a significant role in healing.

imgThe Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute, with the support of Yamaha Artist Services, Inc., presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to Maestro Byron Janis, on May 30, 2012 at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center.

A letter of honor from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was presented and in the letter he stated, "For a remarkable 69 years, your tremendous talent has thrilled audiences around the world, and your consistent presence on New York’s performing arts scene has made you a fixture of our City’s thriving cultural life."

The tribute was hosted by Inside Edition anchor and journalist Deborah Norville, and featured a presentation by renowned neurologist and CEO/President and Director of the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute, Dr. Barry Bittman, as well as President and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation, Dr. John Klippel, a letter from Andre Watts, a video presentation by Emanuel Ax, a reading by a Benedictine nun from The Abbey of Regina Laudis and 2012 Academy Award documentary nominee Reverend Mother Dolores Hart.

During Dr. Barry Bittman’s presentation, he said, "I am profoundly moved by his unwavering resolve for inspiring other to move past their barriers. Despite the potentially career-ending diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis, he persevered against the odds and offers myriad personal experiences, insights and perspectives that must be shared."

Byron Janis is the first pianist to receive the V.E.R.A. (Voice Education Research Award) Award on June 1, 2012, for his contribution to the field of voice communication. The program honored Mr. Janis and Metropolitan Opera star and recording artist, Frederica Von Stade. The annual Voices of Summer Gala is one of The Voice Foundation’s premiere events. The sell-out black tie fundraiser is an event where the voice care community comes together to recognize winners of these prestigious awards. Past V.E.R.A. Award Recipients have included Dame Julie Andrews, Walter Cronkite, and Dan Rather to name a few.

This year Mr. Janis served as the first mentor at the Very Special Arts (VSA) International Young Soloists Awards. Started by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith in 1984, Byron Janis shared his experience and wisdom with the four award recipients. VSA is the international organization on arts and disability and an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts. Since 1984, the VSA International Young Soloists Award Program has annually recognized young artists with disabilities from all over the world who demonstrate exceptional music talent. Mr. Janis will serve as personal mentor to the four artists who received the awards.

He is scheduled to release the unearthed Live From Leningrad album in summer 2012, which has never before been heard in the United States. Recorded in 1960, but never released, during a live concert at the opening of a cultural exchange between the USA and USSR, this newly discovered historical recording includes selections of Mozart, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Copland, and deFalla. At that time, The New York Times reported that, "If music could replace international politics, Byron Janis, the young American pianist, could consider himself an ambassador in breaking down "cold war" barriers."

Byron Janis is set to receive two more prestigious awards later this year, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Arts Club on September 12, 2012 and the Breukelein Institute Gaudium Award on November 12, 2012, not only for his extraordinary career as a concert pianist but his dedication to the arts and public service.

15% of The Chopin Collection proceeds will be divided among the Americans for the Arts, Arthritis Foundation, The Mama Foundation for the Arts, and Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.

The Arthritis Foundation leads the way in helping people with arthritis live better today and create better tomorrows through new treatments, better access and, ultimately, cures .

The Mama Foundation for the Arts is a not-for-profit organization, in Harlem, that is dedicated to presenting, preserving and promoting the musical history of African-Americans.

The Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute is a non-profit organization with a unique purpose- to scientifically explore and share the benefits of creative musical expression as an effective wellness strategy that unites mind and body.

The Chopin Collection can be purchased at the following sites:
Amazon: www.amazon.com/Chopin-Collection-Byron-Janis/dp/B00795C516/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1343055719&sr=8-2&keywords=byron+janis+chopin
iTunes: itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-chopin-collection/id520678125


About Byron Janis
 
imgByron Janis is one of the world's greatest concert pianists. The first pianist to study with the great Vladimir Horowitz, Janis made his orchestral debut with Toscanini’s NBC Symphony Orchestra at age 15.  He began his career as a concert pianist in 1944. In 1960, the United States Department of State chose him to open the first cultural exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. At that time, The New York Times reported that "if music could replace international politics, Byron Janis could consider himself an ambassador breaking down cold war barriers." Mr. Janis was invited back by the Soviet Union in 1962, where he had a triumphant seven-week tour. In 1978, he created an acclaimed program on the life of Frederic Chopin, which aired twice, nationally on PBS stations in the United States and in countries around the world.  In 2008 Mr. Janis had the great honor of being written into the Congressional Record of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, honoring him as a musician, a diplomat and an inspiration.
 
He has written an autobiography, Chopin and Beyond: My Extraordinary Life in Music and the Paranormal. A DVD, entitled The Byron Janis Story, directed by Peter Rosen, includes interviews with conductor Lorin Maazel and pianist Emanuel Ax, also chronicles his life and is currently airing across the United States on PBS. Mr. Janis is scheduled to release Live From Leningrad in Summer 2012.
 
Web: byronjanis.com
Facebook: facebook.com/ByronJanis
Twitter: @ByronBJanis
 
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