Having one's music played at Carnegie Hall is a dream that escapes many an accomplished musician, but Eastchester High School junior Benjamin Araujo will experience that honor. On January 8, renowned pianist Irena Portenko, of Dobbs Ferry, will perform Araujo's "Nine Portraits for Solo Piano," at the legendary venue. "It's a big step toward my future career goal to be a composer," Araujo said. "I had seen the opera of Alice in Wonderland by composer Unsuk Chin, and I was inspired to write music as she did." The 17-year-old is well on his way to achieving that goal. In 2017, The New York Philharmonic performed his original orchestral composition, "A Postcard from New York City" at Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall after Araujo won the Very Young Composers Program that year. Araujo and Portenko also share a common thread: the Music Conservatory of Westchester. Araujo is a piano student of pianist and composer Mikhail Zeiger, and Portenko serves as an esteemed piano faculty member at the White Plains music school. "We are so proud of our amazing faculty and talented students, who have the opportunity to spread their musical wings in many ways at our community music school," said Conservatory Executive Director, Jean Newton. Portenko is also the founder of Music in the Alps, an international music institute and festival for young musicians held in Austria. Araujo participated in this program in 2019, where he played classical and jazz music with music experts and students from around the world. "I performed Benjamin's piece last August in Austria, and it had a huge success among the festival's audiences. Several people asked him for the score," Portenko said of Araujo's composition, which he had composed at the age of 15.