A mother-daughter duo will perform a cello-piano recital Sunday, Dec. 29, at 3 p.m. at the Emerson Center in Vero Beach. Young cellist Abigail Lorimier will be heard playing Prokofiev and Piazzolla, accompanied by her pianist mother, Sue Lorimier. The event will be without charge, although free will offerings to benefit the Gifford Youth Orchestra will be accepted.
“Mother-daughter duos are fairly common in popular music,” said Dr. Crystal Bujol, artistic director of the Gifford group, “but rarely are we able to hear that kind of pairing in classical terms.”
Rare it may be, but it seems perfectly normal to the Lorimiers.
“Abby began to study cello when she was only three,” her mother noted. “And we have been playing together ever since.” Sue teaches piano in the Gifford Youth Orchestra organization and runs a highly regarded Suzuki Method piano studio in Vero Beach.
“Sue joined our piano staff 4 years ago,” said Dr. Bujol, “and has given the whole program a jolt. She’s a superb teacher and knows how to get youngsters motivated and making music right from the start.”
Abigail, who graduates next spring from London’s Royal Academy of Music, was considered one of America’s most talented young cellists when she was in high school. She studied with Andrew Mark, string chair of the Boston Conservatory and now works with Alastair Blayden, associate principal cello of the London Symphony.
At the Royal Academy, which was founded in 1822 and is one of Europe’s most distinguished conservatories, she is a member of its Philharmonic and Opera orchestras and plays in several chamber music ensembles. Among these is the Eumelia Piano Trio, which focuses on works by female composers from the 20th and 21st centuries.
She was the youngest member admitted to the 2016 Festival Orchestra of the Americas for its European tour and last year was a fellow with the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute in Washington, D.C. Passionate about music education, Abby also maintains a private cello studio in London, teaching 16 pupils.
Mother Sue has worked with students one-on-one and in groups for more than 20 years. Currently, she teaches in Vero Beach and specializes in working with very young children and children with special needs. Outside of studio teaching, she works extensively as a chamber musician and accompanist.
She received her Bachelor’s degree in piano performance and Master’s in piano chamber music from the University of Massachusetts. After completing her university work, Sue began studying and teaching the Suzuki approach to music teaching. She is a registered Suzuki piano teacher and an active member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas.
The Gifford Youth Orchestra has helped at-risk students from three to 18 years old achieve success not only in music but in all areas of their studies since it was founded in 2003. It depends on contributions from the community to provide lessons and instruments to children who would otherwise be unable to afford them.
The Emerson Center is located at 1590 27th Ave. in Vero Beach. For more information on the Gifford Youth Orchestra visit www.gyotigers.org or volunteer with the orchestra any Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the Gifford Community Center.