"We want to be able to discover and help the young artists before they break out into the big scene," said the HRPAC's Executive Director Bruce Sherman.
The UBS Atrium Series concert for April features one of those young prodigies, which are apparently becoming a dwindling breed.
The immense talents of classical trumpet performer David Guerrier will be highlighted at the concert Wednesday afternoon at the UBS Atrium, located in the main lobby of the UBS Financial Services building on Lincoln Harbor Boulevard. The concert will begin at 12:30 p.m. and admission, as always, is free.
Born in the south of France in a town called Pierrelatte, David started his musical odyssey at just 7 years old. He was the youngest person ever to win "Les Victoires de la Musique Classique," which honors the best instrumental soloist on French television.
Guerrier then went on to win almost every competition and audition he entered. By the time he was 13, he was soloing with major orchestras. Five years later, he was discovered by Young Concert Artists (YCA), a leading New York arts management firm dedicated to developing and guiding careers of promising young artists.
Since joining the ranks of the YCA, he won the first Young Concert Artists European Auditions held in Paris, and he then won the 2003 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, held in New York.
Sherman became aware of Guerrier through his success in the YCA competitions.
"Normally, when you think of prodigies, you tend to think of pianists or violinists," Sherman said. "I was intrigued by the prospect of this young man playing trumpet and winning all these competitions. Maybe it was because I played trumpet at a young age and was not very successful at it. Knowing from personal experience how difficult it is to master the instrument, I expect to be listening in awe and admiration as David displays his virtuosity."
Wednesday's concert program will include several works by major 20th century composers. Steven Beck, a soloist in his own right, will display his considerable skills by playing a masterpiece by Claude Debussy, and will accompany Guerrier on the piano.
Vicki Margulies, Guerrier's manager at YCA, is one of his biggest fans. "I never realized the full glory and range of the trumpet until I heard David play," Margulies said. "His performances are riveting."
Margulies knows firsthand, as she watched Guerrier make his Kennedy Center debut in late February to great acclaim.
The Washington Post described him as a "wunderkind...who brought musical significance to each note."
Guerrier recently captured another major honor as he became the first trumpet player in 40 years to win the first prize in the Munich ARD International Music Competition.
The last trumpet player to win this competition happened to be a fellow Frenchman, the legendary Maurice Andre, who is generally regarded as one of the greatest trumpet players of all time.
Andre is glad to see another Frenchman follow in his footsteps. "It is necessary that the sun shines also for young trumpeters, especially David Guerrier, a genius of the instrument," he said. "He is sensational. I really hope that the public will adopt him."
Guerrier was unavailable for comment for this article because he was touring in France at press time.
Just one week after his Atrium concert, Guerrier will make his long awaited New York debut, performing once again with Beck at the famed 92nd Street YMCA.
"Most people are under the impression that David is returning to the United States to play his New York debut," Sherman said. "But I know the real reason is so he can say he's played in Weehawken."
The UBS Atrium Series concerts take place April 7 at 12:30 p.m. in the lobby atrium at 1000 Harbor Boulevard in the Lincoln Harbor section of Weehawken. The concerts are free to the general public and there is free two-hour parking in the large outdoor parking lot adjacent to the building. For further information, call (201) 716-4540.