The festivities will begin March 8 at 3 PM with a lecture by the pianist, which is titled "Remembering Horowitz, Toscanini, and Heifetz: Reflections By Byron Janis." At 6 PM March 10, "An Evening of Song with Pianist as Composer with a Touch of Chopin" will be presented.
The concert will feature a host of theatre performers, including Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll & Hyde), Shuler Hensley (Oklahoma!, Young Frankenstein), Karen Mason (Mamma Mia!), Sami Gayle (Gypsy), Maya Days (Encores! No Strings) and Joanne Lessner (Cyrano). Pia Lindstrom hosts.
The concert will include such tunes as "The World is Changing," "All That's Left of Love," "J'aime celui qui M'aime," "You Are More," "The Warmth of Christmas," "A Hero's Passing By," "Footprints," and "Like Any Man." Janis will also perform a few Chopin works.
In a statement pianist Janis said, "These two events are a celebration of the music I have lived and loved since I was a child. I performed for many years with great pain due to arthritis and my career was periodically interrupted for over a decade because of this. So it means a great deal to me to be able to commemorate my 80th birthday with the joyous act of creating music. Additionally, I'm delighted that these talented artists will be joining me for the festivities."
The NYPL for the Performing Arts' Bruno Walter Auditorium is located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza. Admission to the lecture is free on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission to the 6 PM concert is free, but tickets are required and will be distributed, one per person, two hours before show time at the Library's rear entrance at 111 Amsterdam Avenue, near 65th Street.
For further information call (212) 642-0142 or visit www.nypl.org.