EAC’s Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center series begins on January 7 at 3 pm with pianist Danny Holt. Holt’s program traces the history of the sonatina from the 18th through the 21st centuries, highlighting an eclectic array of composers, many of whom are unknown to even the most ardent classical music fans. Shining a spotlight on lesser-known composers is one of Holt’s passions, and this program showcases works he discovered during the Covid-19 pandemic. When all of his concerts were cancelled, he obsessively researched new repertoire, planning for when concerts could resume. A series of concert programs began coalescing around the genre of the sonatina—pieces that were devised as relatively short and easy pieces for students to play. These are essentially the younger siblings of the sonata, a genre that composers such as Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven codified and greatly expanded in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Called “phenomenal” by the late music critic Alan Rich, and hailed as one of the “local heroes” of the Los Angeles music scene (LAcitybeat.com), pianist Danny Holt performs around the globe in concert halls (Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hollywood Bowl), clubs (Joe’s Pub, The Blue Whale, Copenhagen Jazzhouse) art galleries (MASS MoCA, Hammer Museum), churches, living rooms, and wherever else he can find a piano and someone to listen. His recorded catalog includes the recent solo album “Piano Music of Mike Garson” and other solo, chamber, and orchestral releases on the Innova Recordings label, pfMENTUM, New World Records, Deutsche Grammophon, and L’st records. After spending most of the past two decades in Southern California, Holt recently relocated to Downeast Maine, where he enjoys being surrounded by natural beauty and the many joys of small town life. When he’s not performing, he teaches music at Elm Street School, a public K-8 school in East Machias. More information may be found at www.dannyholt.net.

The Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center series is a winter offering of informal and interactive programs every Sunday at 3 pm at Eastport Arts Center. The events are offered by voluntary donation, with proceeds shared equally between the presenters and EAC ongoing program The Concert Series, which offers year-round programming run by volunteers. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. The full series schedule, which runs weekly through early April, skipping Easter Sunday, may be found at eastportartscenter.org/the-concert-series.

Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and at www.eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible. EAC abides by the State of Maine CDC COVID guidelines, revisiting our policy monthly. At this time, the use of masks in our building is optional.