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Newark native Seymour Bernstein, became a world-class pianist starting in the 1950s. Bernstein was already teaching piano at the age of fifteen. Releasing two albums of his performance, Seymour Bernstein – A Retrospective and Seymour Bernstein Performs His Own Compositions, his international concert career flourished, taking him to Asia, Europe, and throughout the Americas only to have performance anxiety drive him from the stage in the prime of his career.
The subject of a recent highly-acclaimed film documentary produced by actor Ethan Hawke, Bernstein has agreed to return to Newark for the first time in decades for a brief performance at NJPAC tonight, followed by a Q&A about growing up a musical prodigy in Newark. He will be joined on stage and at the piano by Dr. Victor Parsonnet, chairman emeritus of the New Jersey Symphony who grew up in Newark in the same era as Bernstein and also trained to become a concert pianist before he became a pioneering heart surgeon.