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Local Pianist's Belcher Center Performance to Air Nationally on NPR


Antonio "Nio" Ajero, a 12-year-old pianist from Nacogdoches, Texas, who performed before a live audience on the LeTourneau University Belcher Center stage for an upcoming episode of From the Top, will be featured when the show airs nationally at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 3 on Red River Radio.

From the Top is the hit NPR radio program featuring America's best young classical musicians and hosted by acclaimed pianist Christopher O'Riley. The radio show also is available for streaming and podcast at fromthetop.org.

Nio is in the seventh grade at Mike Moses Middle School. He currently studies in the Music Preparatory Division of Stephen F. Austin State University with Linda Parr. His favorite musical experience was when he won the 2017 Baylor/Waco Solo Piano Competition. Outside of music, Nio enjoys Taekwondo, MathCounts, and cooking. On the broadcast, Nio performs Caprice à la Scarlatti in G major, Op. 14, No. 3 by Ignacy Jan Paderewski.

Also included: Quartet Diamant from Chicago, Illinois featuring Masha Lakisova (15), violin, Rebecca Moy (16), violin, Natalie Clarke (17), viola, and Adam Lee (16), cello performing: I. Allegro violento ed agitato from String Quartet No. 1, Op. 20, by Alberto Ginastera; Olivia Elerson, flute, 16, from Waxahachie, Texas performing: III. Allegro scherzando from the Sonata for Flute and Piano by Otar Taktakishvili with Christopher O'Riley, piano; David Caplan, cello, 17, from Skokie, Illinois performing: Élégie, Op.24 by Gabriel Fauré with Christopher O'Riley, piano; and Sena Cho, violin, 14, from Irvine, California performing: I. Allegro molto ed appassionato from Sonata No. 3, Op.45 for Violin and Piano by Edvard Grieg and Tango (Por Una Cabeza) by Carlos Gardel, Barr. John Williams, with Christopher O'Riley, piano.

Olivia Elerson, Adam Lee, and David Caplan will also receive From the Top's Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award in conjunction with their performances on the show. The $10,000 Award is given to deserving young musicians to help further their musical studies.

LeTourneau University's Belcher Center opened in the Fall of 2007 as the premier performance center for the city of Longview, Texas, and surrounding communities. Designed by professionals in architecture and theater design with world-class acoustics and staging, the 2,000-seat center features 1,400 seats on the ground level and another 600 seats in two, opera-style balconies. Belcher Center chapel services held three times per week during the fall and spring semesters provide LETU students incredible Christian speakers and music groups. Chapels are open to the public and a schedule can be found on the LeTourneau University Web site at www.letu.edu.

LeTourneau University is the premier Christian polytechnic university in the nation where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community. LETU offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a range of disciplines and delivery models at LETU's residential campus in Longview, Texas, and in hybrid and fully online options at centers in Dallas and Houston.

Categories: Fine Arts