Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Alex Berko appears with Verb Ballets

Alex Berko, the kid reviewer, to appear with Verb Ballets playing one of his compositions

Many of you know Alex Berko as the “kid reviewer” who accompanies me to theatre productions and gives his views on whether the play is kid friendly. What you may not know is that besides his theatre insights, he is an accomplished pianist and composer.

Alex will be one of the featured performers in Verb Ballets’ Fresh Inventions Series of New Works which pairs a composer with a choreographer who uses the members of Verb Ballets company to create a piece of dance.

Alex, who is 14 years old, fell in love with music very early and has been playing piano since the age of 4. He has had many musical accomplishments throughout the years. Alex was awarded 1st place in the 2009 Scholastic Composer’s Contest. He was selected as a young composer (2009) and as a performer (2008) for the Cleveland Composer’s Guild project, “Creativity; Learning through Experience.” Alex was chosen from over 100 students to receive the Samantha Richardson Award for outstanding leadership and musicianship at Orchard Middle School (Solon, OH). He was selected to train and perform with the Cleveland Chamber Music Camp in 2008. Alex has received consistent Superior ratings in the National Federation of Music Clubs annual piano competition. He currently studies composition with Dr. Stephen Stanziano, piano with Mrs. Sandra Shapiro (Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland, OH), and music theory with Mrs. Monica Houghton (Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland, OH). An honor roll student, Alex was a member of the Solon Middle School soccer team last fall.

Alex will be appearing on stage, playing his composition, Volcano Rhapsody.

Choreographers include Richard Dickinson, Kay Eichman, Diane Gray, Terence Greene, Lisa K. Lock, Troy McCarty, and Sara Whale. Besides Alex, the other composers are Larry Baker, Loris Chobanian, Ty Alan Emerson, Richard Rinehart, Nicholas Underhill, and Eric Ziolek.

The program will be presented at the Cleveland Public Theatre in the Gordon Square Theatre from April 8 to the 11th. CPT is located at 6415 Detroit Avenue in Cleveland. Performances are at 7 p.m. on the 8, 9 and 10 and at 3 p.m. on the 11th. Tickets, which are $10 on the 8th, and $21 on the other dates ($2 discount for students and seniors), may be obtained by calling 216-631-2727 or going on-line to