When a stage is set with just two pianos, it’s often for a duel. But Tuesday night’s performance from Ingrid Fliter and Katherine Chi was a delicate, and at times forceful, dance between equally matched partners.

On Monday night, 1998 Gilmore Artist Award winner Leif Ove Andsnes astonished and delighted a modest crowd among the gilded trim and glittering chandeliers of Kalamazoo's Chenery Auditorium.

There are plenty of musicians today who embrace showmanship and spectacle to make an impression. But in a society that barrages us with hollow messages and countless distractions, honest and refined music can offer due respite.

Having spent his life spreading joy with his outlandish costumes and unique style of playing the piano in concert halls, on television and as the consummate Las Vegas act, Liberace has returned from the dead to set the story straight, so to speak, because he feels redundant in heaven where everyone’s just perpetually happy.

Wei Luo, recipient of a 2018 Gilmore Young Artist Award, shares a music teacher with another Chinese pianist: Lang Lang, who also left his home country for America as a young teenager.

Bell’s Eccentric Cafe was abuzz and looked a bit different than usual Thursday night. From the sounds of things, it could have been a club in Greenwich Village at any point in the 20th Century — but without the cigarette smoke and with better beer. 

Much like being named a Gilmore Artist, winning the International Frederic Chopin International Piano Competition carries much significance for a burgeoning concert pianist. 32-year-old Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz has claimed both accolades. Blechacz swept the Chopin Piano Competition in 2005 — the first Polish pianist in 30 years to win the top prize — and later won the Gilmore Artist Award in 2014.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 19:51

Lautenwerk: Kim Heindel

Ah yes, the lautenwerk, an instrument we all know and love. Who are we kidding? Almost no one knows what a lautenwerk is! But once you hear it in the hands of Kim Heindel, you’ll come to love it, at least.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 19:49

Jazz/Funk: Snarky Puppy

It’s hard to put a label on Snarky Puppy, but that’s OK — we don’t need to. All you do need to know is that the jazz/pop/R&B/fusion/blues/etc. quasi-collective big band won three Grammy’s in four years, both for R&B performance and pop instrumental album.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 19:47

Solo Pianist: Daniil Trifonov

“He has everything and more… He has tenderness and also the demonic element. I never heard anything like that.” These words were spoken by legendary pianist Martha Argerich about Daniil Trifonov, shortly after his winning performance at the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition. Argerich’s praise for the young Russian pianist has since been validated by numerous performances with the world’s most esteemed orchestras and venues, as well as recognition as Gramophone’s 2016 Artist of the Year and two Grammy nominations. An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, Trifonov is consistently recognized for his diabolical yet elegant technique and transcendent artistry.

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