World-class talent at Niskayuna Public Library

Classical music lovers don't have to travel to Carnegie Hall or pay hundreds of dollars to hear world-class music all they have to do is go to the Niskayuna Public Library.

For the past 12 years, Charlotte DeBlois has been bringing in young talent from the finest music schools and conservatories from all over the East Coast as part of a series called The Young Musicians Forum but she doesn't want to take credit for it. One Saturday a month from September through May, a different young talent performs for free at the Niskayuna Public Library. You'd better get there early, though, because there is generally standing room only.

This past Saturday, Nov. 20, young pianist You You Zhang performed Mozart, Chopin and Rachmaninoff pieces to a packed audience in a small room filled with pieces of art in the library.

"I feel it's a good idea to have literature, art and music under one roof," said DeBlois.

While the small room is packed for every Young Musician's Forum event, it will remain in its current space. The intimate gathering works, and so does the location"Ms. DeBlois wants to keep the series in the neighborhood so that patrons can access it easily.

DeBlois, who used to be a pianist, recognizes the pressure put on young musicians after they receive their diplomas to make it in the music world.

"The music schools turn out diplomas every year, and then when the students have finished and get their diplomas, now what? The time pressure for young musicians to get out and perform is very, very crucial, but you cannot blame agents because they have to sell tickets " and what would sell a ticket is a big name. But how does a young musician " a top talent " get a name if nobody gives them a chance?" said DeBlois.

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