Carlos Avila and Vincent Grana Perform Sept. 17 at The University of Scranton

Performance Music at The University of Scranton will welcome pianist Carlos Avila and bass vocalist Vincent Grana for a recital scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17.  The recital begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Houlihan-McLean Center, Mulberry Street and Jefferson Avenue.  Admission is free, with seating on a first-come, first-seated basis.

According to Performance Music Conductor and Director Cheryl Y. Boga, Avila has been a favorite performer at the University for the last decade, having appeared here both as a soloist, as well as with a variety of ensembles. Boga said, “As he serves as pianist for a number of renowned and ‘rising star’ operatic voices, I asked him to select the vocalist for this performance from among his favorite young artists on the national scene, and he is looking forward to introducing our Scranton audience to Vincent Grana.”

One of the most in-demand pianists on the classical music scene, the New York City-based Avila has played concerts across North and South America, Europe and Asia. He has performed at festivals such as Schleswig-Holstein, Tanglewood, Sarasota, Aspen, Banff, Music Academy of the West, Pianofest, Holland, ChamberFest Dubuque, Lake George and the Carnegie Hall Workshops.

An avid collaborator, Avila has maintained a 20-year partnership with acclaimed violinist Jay Oh, with whom he has given over 80 recitals across Asia and the United States. He has played at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s All-Access Chamber series and the New York Philharmonic’s Leonard Bernstein salon series, and has been showcased on New York’s WQXR, where he gave an all-transcription recital broadcast as one of the winners of The Juilliard School’s prestigious Gina Bachauer Piano Competition.

Avila serves on the collaborative piano faculty at the Heifetz Institute, and is a highly in-demand studio pianist at conservatories throughout the NYC area. A proud Filipino American, Avila is a graduate of Juilliard, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal.

Based in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, Grana debuted at Dayton Opera performing the role of Zuniga in their production of Bizet’s Carmen. He has performed with the Castleton Festival under the baton of Maestro Lorin Maazel, covering such roles as Alcindoro and Benoit (“La Boheme”), Simone (“Gianni Schicchi”) and Escamillo in a concert performance of “Carmen.” In addition, he has performed in the Crested Butte Music Festival’s production of “L’elisir d’amore” and has worked with such renowned artists as Samuel Ramey.

A Philadelphia District winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Grana has sung with Sarasota Opera as an apprentice artist and performed the role of Simone in Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi” with Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance program in the summer of 2017. Some of his more recent roles include Gardiner in Opera San Jose’s production of “Moby Dick,” Il Priore in Bellini’s “La Straniera” and Podestà in Rossini’s “La Gazza Ladr,” both with Teatro Nuovo, and Rafael and Adam in Haydn’s “The Creation and Colline in La Boheme” at the Dayton Opera.