by Austin Gerth
North Branch Middle School band director and flutist Donna Hryniewicki will perform at a flute and piano recital with pianist Ivan Konev.
The recital will be held at 7 p.m. March 3 at the Anoka-Ramsey Community College Cambridge Campus auditorium, 300 Spirit River Drive S. The performance is sponsored by Cambridge Center for the Arts. Tickets for the performance are $10 at the door.
Hryniewicki, who is a professional flutist in addition to her teaching, started playing piano at age 5, and she wanted to start learning to play the flute as soon as she was able, which in her school district meant fifth grade. Her parents, however, were initially skeptical about whether or not she would actually play the instrument.
“I kept begging and begging and begging,” Hryniewicki said. “The reason I liked it was that it was shiny.”
Her parents allowed her to take up the instrument a few months later than her classmates, and they needn’t have worried about her commitment. Hryniewicki now holds a doctorate of musical arts in flute performance from the University of Minnesota, which she received in 2008. At North Branch Middle School she teaches sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade band, as well as fifth- and seventh-grade general music. The flute has never lost its allure for her.
“You put it together, you make your first sounds and you have a friend for life,” Hryniewicki said.
Pianist Konev was born in Ukraine and educated in Moscow before coming to the Minnesota, where he studied at Hamline University and eventually received a doctorate in piano performance from the University of Minnesota. He and Hryniewicki did not meet at the university but instead as instructors at a summer camp, which is where they began playing together.
At their recital, Hryniewicki and Konev will play movements from sonatas by Daniel Dorff and Francis Poulenc, and Jules Massenet’s “Méditation” from the opera “Thaïs.” Konev will also play some works for solo piano during the recital.
Hryniewicki has played a couple of previous recitals with Konev in North Branch, and bringing their collaboration to Cambridge and other towns is a passion project for Hryniewicki, who wants to make a wider variety of quality live music available to communities outside of the Twin Cities.
“It’s just the idea of getting professional classical music … in these vibrant towns that just happen to not be Minneapolis and St. Paul,” Hryniewicki said.
For more information on the recital, contact Cambridge Center for the Arts at [email protected]