The UNLV Performing Arts Center opens its Charles Vanda Master Series with The 5 Browns, classical music's first family of piano virtuosos - Ryan, Melody, Gregory, Deondra, and Desirae - at 8 p.m. on Monday, September 8. Whether performing individually or together in various combinations from duo to complex five-piano arrangements, The 5 Browns demonstrate their individual and collective mastery of the piano and their command of classical repertoire through a series of emotionally complex works by Rachmaninoff, Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, and Saint Saens, to the jazz-influenced contemporary masterpieces of Gershwin, W.C. Handy and Piazzolla.
The 5 Browns are the sons and daughters of Keith and Lisa Brown from Utah who wanted their Mormon children to have music in their lives. The goal was to raise "five good people." Not only did they achieve their goal, but they also managed to raise five great pianists. Each child at around age three showed a clear talent and interest in piano lessons, and while the children were introduced to other instruments, their passion was the piano.
The quintet enjoyed their first wave of critical attention in February 2002 when People magazine dubbed them the "Fab Five" and at about the same time they were featured on Oprah and 60 Minutes. The siblings caught the eye of multi-platinum recording producer Joel Diamond, who landed them an international recording contract with SONY BMG Masterworks and became their personal manager. Their success grew with the 2005 release of their debut album on RCA Red Seal. Simply titled The 5 Browns, the New York Post proclaimed: "One family, five pianos and 50 fingers add up to the biggest classical music sensation in years...When these kids do Rachmaninoff, they'll make you forget about Marshall amps." By the end of 2005, The 5 Browns were one of the top classical artists of the year.
Tickets to The 5 Browns are $45, $60, and $90 and can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 895-ARTS (2787) or by visiting pac.unlv.edu. Student rush tickets are $13 each and available one hour prior to each event, based on availability and with valid student I.D. UNLV faculty and staff discounts also are available. A $1 facilities fee, in addition to the ticket price, is charged on all Performing Arts Center tickets. The box office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Information about all of the season's performances can be found on the Performing Arts Center website, located at pac.unlv.edu.
Founded in 1976, the Performing Arts Center at UNLV continues to be Southern Nevada's premier performing arts venue. Located on the north end of the UNLV campus, the PAC hosts a variety of performances each year in three distinct series - the Charles Vanda Master Series, New York Stage & Beyond Series, and the Classical Guitar Series. UNLV and Vegas PBS are graciously sponsoring the season.