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Pianist Travels The Amazon To Share Classical Music With Impoverished Youth

Panos Karan grew up with a piano in his home and a dad who loved to play on it for fun. At age 7, Karan asked for lessons, and while some would say it was the beginning of his road to becoming a concert pianist, his first piano teacher would disagree. She thought Karan had little potential, but he kept at it.

Inspired by the advanced piano students he met in London, Karan began working hard and setting goals for the future, including a dream of playing one day at Carnegie Hall. He achieved that goal at age 25, but something was missing.

When Karan looked out into the audience he primarily saw people of wealth and privilege, so he set a new goal: to share classical music with new audiences. Through his non-profit organization Keys of Change, Karan has taught, played, and formed youth orchestras in countries from Sierra Leone to Siberia.

Karan joins host Frank Stasio to share stories of traveling the Amazon river with his keyboard and to talk about his upcoming show with Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle on Sunday, Jan. 13 at 3 p.m. at Carolina Theatre of Durham. 

Dana is an award-winning producer who began as a personality at Rock 92. Once she started creating content for morning shows, she developed a love for producing. Dana has written and produced for local and syndicated commercial radio for over a decade. WUNC is her debut into public radio and she’s excited to tell deeper, richer stories.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.