When pianist Charlie Albright isn’t on a stage performing, his go-to attire is blue jeans. He also enjoys taking the stuffiness out of classical music, so signing on for West Michigan Symphony’s Beethoven & Blue Jeans concert was a perfect fit.

“Chicken wings and beer,” Wu Han said. “I remember it vividly.”

Technology has given us a million ways to watch movies at home, not to mention incredible sound systems that make you feel like you’re sitting in a theater of your own. No matter how advanced our tech gets, though, nothing will ever compare to hearing a soundtrack performed in real time.

Music Season Preview, 2019-2020

Written by Abi Safago and Josh Veal | Thursday, 29 August 2019 09:00 |

A look at the many classical music and jazz performances happening in the 2019-2020 season.

Thomas Pike and the Vintage Parlor Orchestra are working to bring orchestral music back to the mainstream. As the project gains momentum, expect to hear symphonic arrangements in unusual places — maybe even your favorite bar or art gallery.

Over the past 25 years, much has changed in Grand Rapids. New buildings and businesses, new art and new ideas are emerging at every corner of the city. Even longstanding institutions have been shaped by the changing times.

Even though Natasha Paremski has played Chopin’s Piano Concerto no.2 around 100 times in concert, that doesn’t mean it’s gotten any easier.

It had been five years since this world renowned group of jazz masters had gone on tour together before playing to a full house last Saturday night in Kalamazoo.

Parting is such sweet sorrow, but before a new and exciting journey can begin, the old must come to a close. The Grand Rapids Symphony is going above and beyond with three very different, but very special shows for the 89th season, closing out in May.

Review: Zhang Zuo delights and inspires with ease

Written by Erin Bensinger | Monday, 15 April 2019 13:23 |

The Gilmore Keyboard Festival’s Rising Stars series continued on Sunday evening with a stellar performance by Zhang Zuo, also known as “Zee Zee,” at the Wellspring Theater in Kalamazoo. Rising Stars seeks to offer a chance to see promising performers before their international breakthroughs, and if the audience learned anything from Zuo’s performance, it’s that she’s definitely one to keep an eye on.

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