Peter Ritzen, a world renowned traditional Catholic pianist, performed a charity concert in aid of the new building project of OLMCA. A spectacular performance entertained around 250 spectators, and fundraised over $2,000 for the new boarding facility.
Everyone in Knox Presbyterian Church on January 24, 2016 was thrilled to see “A Spiritual Odyssey in Music” performed by world renowned pianist and traditional Catholic Peter Ritzen. Peter had been invited by District Superior Fr. Couture to perform a charity concert in aid of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy, the proceeds of which went to the $ 1,500,000 project of a new boarding facility.
Piano pieces of Bach, Beethoven, Franck, Liszt, Brahms, and Leschetitzky were played with virtuosic skill, and the audience was pleased to hear one of his own improvisations, inspired by the Gregorian Credo III. In addition to these solo works, Peter played two duets guest-starring Steve Tan, a parishioner of Toronto who currently boards one of his sons at OLMCA. After a few encore pieces and a standing ovation, the audience performed a vocal piece – “Happy Birthday” – for Peter, who had just turned 60!
Fr. Sherry and the whole of OLMCA are very grateful for the generosity of Peter Ritzen and of all of those that attended the concert. About 250 of the 400 possible seats were filled, acquiring over $2,000 for the new boarding facility, which will enable the school to double her capacity for boarding students.
Born as a child prodigy in Belgium, Peter Ritzen loved music at a very young age and dreamed of becoming a famous, catholic pianist. He studied piano and chamber music at the Royal Conservatory in his native city of Ghent, where he learned from renowned teachers Louis Pas and François Glorieux. He furthered his studies at the Mozarteum in Austria with the Russian pianist Tatiana Nikolayeva, and finally, under the education of the Polish piano pedagogue Marian Ribicky, graduated in Paris with the Diplôme Supérieure d’Exécution in piano. Peter now resides with his wife and children in Bejing, China, where his work has been broadcasted on television.
Peter Ritzen has won international praise for his amazing abilities at the piano, and His performances and numerous CD recordings are loved by many people. Peter Ritzen is the first-ever performer to record (in 1992) a CD of Leschetitzky’s solo works, besides the unpublished Leschetitzky Piano concerto, both of which were issued on the internationally renowned NAXOS label. He has won the praise and the hearts of millions of Chinese people after his live broadcast of his own compositions in which he played: ‘The Last Empress’, ‘Chinese Violin Rhapsody’ and ‘Chinese Requiem’ with the Shanghai Philharmonic.