banner
Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Rising Stars

Posted March 13, 2008 9:29 a.m. EDT

Who are some of the up-and-coming stars in entertainment that you admire? Maybe you have discovered someone in your community. Perhaps it is a young musician, dancer or artist you have seen in person or on television. Please share.

Last night I co-hosted the 25th annual Pieces of Gold program celebrating the amazing talents of Wake County students in music, dance, theatre and visual arts. What a wonderful evening! The performances were fresh, tight and highly entertaining to the sell-out crowd in Memorial Auditorium at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

The evening provided my first opportunity to hear Brandon Cheng. This 13 year old cellist from Ligon Middle School was phenomenal. Brandon is getting ready for his Carnegie Hall debut this month with pianist Melody Lin of the Silver Strings Orchestra at Ligon School in Raleigh. Brandon’s silky style and impeccable intonation wowed the audience.

John W. Lambert of Classical Voice of North Carolina recently reviewed Brandon’s performance at the Carolina Theatre in Durham. Lambert described Brandon’s reading of a cello concerto with the Durham Symphony Orchestra as “ravishing all ‘round; the solo part seemed to glow from within, and the orchestra was with him all the way.” Brandon continues to excel under the tutelage of Leonid Zilper of the NC Symphony.

What about you? Have you heard any ravishing performances lately? Please share.