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Pianist, harpist team up for winter concert at Hand House

ELIZABETHTOWN - The year-round Piano by Nature concert series continues Feb. 7 and 8 as Adirondack harpist Martha Gallagher joins Rose Chancler Feinbloom for a pair of unique musical performances.

Gallagher, who has performed on solo tours throughout the U.S. and Canada, will combine with Feinbloom for several numbers that will highlight the similarities, differences, and harmonious interplay that harp and piano can offer.

Known for playing music not traditionally associated with the Celtic Harp, Gallagher is looking forward to the chance to stretch the versatility of her instrument even further than before.

"This is one of those rare opportunities for myself as a musician to take advantage of an unusual platform through which to explore and present music outside my expansive standard repertoire," said Gallagher. "The added bonus of being able to work and perform with another musician of high caliber, Rose Chancler Feinbloom, is extraordinary."

Though Gallagher admits there isn't much music written for harp-piano duets, she intends to borrow from pieces written for other instruments, and even include some original works. The program spans a wide spectrum of genres, including celtic, world, and jazz.

"I don't expect most of this music to be performed again in the region," she said.

One particular piece, entitled "My Mother's Piano," features a harp solo set against a Beethoven variation on piano. It's an original song that Feinbloom has performed before with Gallagher.

Throughout the concert, Gallagher will rotate through three different instruments; an acoustic Celtic harp, a solid-body electric harp, and the MIDI harp, which is a harp synthesizer. She is one of only a small handful of people in the world playing the MIDI harp.

Both concerts will be held at the Hand House in Elizabethtown. The Feb. 7 concert is scheduled for 8 p.m. and the Feb. 8 concert is scheduled for 3 p.m.

The event is made possible, in part, with a Developing Community Arts Grant with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program administered locally by the Arts Council for the Northern Adirondacks.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 15 and under. Reservations are encouraged as seating is limited. For more information, or to order tickets, call 962-2949 or visit the concert series Web site at www.pianobynature.org

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