Ben Franklin and the Armonica

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 History of
the Armonica

 Ben Franklin
the Musician

Cecilia Brauer


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About Cecilia Brauer

Cecilia Brauer studied the piano with Isabelle Vengerova at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Later teachers have included Edwin Hughes and Muriel Kerr. She has toured the U.S. in concert and has been an associate member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 1972 where she plays the celeste, and when on tour, the piano. In 1991, Cecilia added a new dimension to a very successful piano career, namely, the Armonica. She is now one of only a handful of musicians in the world actively involved performing on the instrument. She gives lecture/demonstration programs called "Ben Franklin and the Armonica" and "Ben Franklin, the Musician" at museums, historical sites, libraries, social organizations, etc. These have included The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, Independence National Historical Park, Corning Glass Museum, Carnegie Museum, Franklin Institute, the Fraunces Tavern Museum, the Van Cortlandt House, and Asahi Glass Co. in Japan. She has been featured on "The Morry Story" on CBS-TV, and on "New York Views" on WABC-TV.

She has introduced her program into the public schools elementary system where it has been enthusiastically received by students and educators alike. Cecilia is most pleased to have been involved in the following:

  • 1992-1994, 1999, 2005, 2007-2008.... Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" (w/Armonica), Metropolitan Opera, NY
  • 1994... "Interview With the Vampire".... soundtrack
  • 1997... "Othello", American Ballet Theatre
  • 1999... WYHI-TV12, PBS TV Special, "Philadelphia Diary"
  • 2000... History Channels "Lost and Found" , "Franklin's Armonica"
    • CD-"Angelic Sounds of Christmas" available at The Musical Heritage Society
    • National Public Radio, Washington, DC
  • 2001... History Channel's..."The Most"
  • 2002... FRIDA...soundtrack
  • 2003/05... New York City Ballet..."Carnival of the Animals"
  • 2004... Little Orchestra Society... Children's Concert, Lincoln Center, NY
  • 2005... American Museum of Natural History, NY
  • 2006... The National Archives in Washington, DC
  • 2006... Franklin Tercentenary
    • Curtis Institute of Music..."Franklin Tribute"
    • Pennsylvania Ballet... "Franklin Court", Academy of Music , Philadelphia
    • Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
    • APS Hall, Philadelphia, premiere of "Useful Knowledge, A Franklin Fantasy"by Paul Moravec
    • Saratoga County Arts Center, National Bottle Museum, "Franklin Celebration"
    • John Jay Homestead, Katonah, NY
    • Eastern Shore Chamber Music Festival, "Useful KNowledge"
    • Villanova University,,, "Franklin and the Invention of America"
    • Siemens Co. Corporate Event .. "Revolutionary Theme"
  • 2007... January ... "Othello", American Ballet Theatre at Kennedy Center, Washington, DC and in May at Metropolitan Opera House, NYC
    • Grauate Center of Arts and Sciences, CUNY, NY
    • AMIS Convention, Yale University
    • LI Mozart Music Festival
    • Metropolitan Opera, opening night, "Lucia di Lammermoor" (w/Armonica)
    • "Performance Today" NPR
    • Sirius Radio
    • NYTimes, "Resonance is a Glass Act for for a Heroine on the Edge"
  • 2008... New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center
    • Benjamin Franklin, "In Search of a Better World" Library Exhibit... Providence Public Library, RI; Thrall Public Library, Middletown, NY; Jacksonville Public Library, Florida
  • 2009... Rutgers University
    • PBS TV "Lucia di Lammermoor" (w/Armonica)
    • Newseum, Washington, DC
  • 2011... Metropolitan Opera, Japan Tour
  • 2012...100th Anniversay of the Sinking of the Titanic, Kew Gardens, NY
  • 2013... NY Historical Society
    • Metropolitan Opera, Die Frau Ohne Schatten (w/Armonica)
  • 2014...
    • "Othello" Symphony by Elliot Goldenthal (w/Armonica)
    • Radio Interview...Cecilia Brauer at
  • For information & availability, call (516) 378-0449.

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