The artist-in-residence program at Valley Manor gives a student from the Eastman School of Music the chance to live in and perform for the community. This year’s student is Matthew Figel, who is majoring in piano performance and musical arts.
Figel will perform monthly for residents of the senior living community. He will provide music for events, and share meals and time with the seniors for a discounted monthly rent.
“We are thrilled to partner again for this artist-in-residence program at Valley Manor,” said Marie Rolf, senior associate dean of graduate studies. “We believe that the regular presence of our student artists will enhance the residents’ quality of life, just as the experience of living among the Valley Manor family will benefit our students. What an extraordinary opportunity this is for Eastman students to make a difference in the lives of members of our Rochester community.”
Figel started his piano studies at age 10 in Midland, Texas. A winner of the Eastman Concerto Competition, Figel became one of the youngest students to solo with the Eastman Philharmonia. He was inducted into Eastman’s Pi Kappa Lambda honor society, and received the Anne T. Cummins Prize in humanities and John Celentano Award for excellence in chamber music.
Among his other awards are first prizes in the Rosalyn Tureck International Bach and Harold Protsman Classical Period competitions. A past fellow at PianoFest in the Hamptons, he also attended the PianoTexas International Festival and Academy, Gijon International Piano Festival, and Aspen School of Music.
“I feel very fortunate to have been given this unique opportunity,” Figel said. “The residents here have been so gracious and welcoming, making me feel like I never left home. We have already shared many colorful conversations and countless laughs that I look forward to many more this year.”
Figel will live at Valley Manor until late spring, performing monthly recitals for the community. He was one of three finalists interviewed by Episcopal SeniorLife Community residents and administrators for this opportunity.
“We are thrilled to have Matthew join our community and have welcomed him with open arms,” said Michelle Scipioni, executive director of Valley Manor. “His musical ability and experience are incredible, and I know the residents are looking forward to a memorable year as we continue this partnership with the Eastman School of Music.”