Yuja Wang Master Class: “Imagine a ballerina spinning on a music box”

Last Monday, January 23, in a master class at the Manhattan School of Music for five piano students willing to pit their confidence in their pianistic skill against what must be the withering terror of a public examination by one of the most acclaimed piano artists of her generation, Yuja Wang was unsparing in her critiques, as well as in her praise, her encouragement, and her example.

“Imagine a ballerina spinning on a music box; don’t try to be too seductive here.”

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Review: Natalia Suriano Graduate Recital at MSM

suriano-concert-crop2Natalia Suriano is one of a small group of stellar young Argentine pianists who are protégés of Mirian Conti, the New York piano performer, recording artist and educator. Ms. Conti has organized a program of musical competitions in Argentina designed to identify fledgling pianists with the talent to gain admission to, and thrive at, the most competitive musical institutions in the United States. Ms. Suriano’s solo graduate recital was one of the steps on her way to her Master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music, and to Ms. Conti’s long-term vision of enriching Argentine piano artistry. Continue reading

Fealty Check: The Innovative Programming of Pianist Frederic Chiu

Frederic Chiu spoke with piaNYC on Labor Day, Monday, September 5, 2016

Frederic Chiu

Frederic Chiu spoke with piaNYC. Below are major excerpts of the phone conversation, which took place on Labor Day, Monday, September 5, 2016, just a few days prior to his performance at the DiMenna center. The order is changed of some of the topics we discussed.

He has named the performance format Classical Smackdown, where he pits one composer against another, and gathers live input from the audience about their reaction, publishing the results on a web page. What was his motivation for starting the Classical Smackdown series? Continue reading

Whistling into the Graveyard: Christina and Michelle Naughton at the Crypt Sessions


Corridor near the entrance to the crypt, Church of the Intercession

The choice of venue of last night’s performance was at once a stroke of genius and in hindsight obvious, so perfect was the combination of concepts brought into focus during its brief interval, in the crypt of the Church of the Intercession in Sugar Hill. The event showcased the talents of Christina and Michelle Naughton, the twin sisters performing Olivier Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen for two pianos, in their final appearance in their planned 2015-2016 season. Continue reading

A Thrilling Revelation of Multiple Perspectives: Xiayin Wang at Kaye Playhouse

Xiayin Wang thrilled the audience at Kaye Playhouse on Friday, July 30 2016

Xiayin Wang thrilled the audience at Kaye Playhouse on Friday, July 30 2016

When Leopold Godowsky wrote of his sensational Berlin debut in 1900, he noted that every pianist and piano instructor in the city was in attendance. So it must be in New York, for a performer at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival, a yearly two-week-long feast of classical keyboard musicianship and education held at Hunter College. This night, the penultimate to feature headlining performers at the Kaye Playhouse, Xiayin Wang pleased immensely both pianistic elite and ordinary classical music lover alike. Continue reading

Starting Monday, July 18: Free Master Classes at IKIF

Over the next two weeks, why not take the time and sit in on a free master class at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival!

Master Class with José Ramos Santana

Master instructors announced thus far include: Alexander Kobrin, Dmitry Rachmanov, Eduard Zilberkant, Emanuel Krasovsky, Geoffrey Burleson, Jeffrey Swann, Jerome Rose, José Ramos Santana (pictured above), Massimiliano Ferrati, Mykola Suk, Nina Lelchuk, Stanislav Khristenko and Victor Rosenbaum. The IKIF schedule is updated frequently, so check it for the latest classes.

Jon Weber Swings, at Piano in Bryant Park

Jon Weber at Piano in Bryant Park

Jon Weber entertained Tuesday July 12 through Friday July 15, at Piano in Bryant Park

Jon Weber, just having arrived back in New York and direct from the airport, entertained young and old (and in-between) today as the featured performer at Piano in Bryant Park. On the bill were numbers from the American Songbook including by Hoagy Carmichael, George Gershwin, Fats Waller (if my ear was right), whoever wrote Happy Birthday, and many more. What a swinging way to spend my lunchtime! Jon will be playing in the park Wednesday and Friday from 12:30 to 2:30, and Thursday from 2 to 4 with a sing-along.


July 17-31: Concerts, Lectures and Events at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival at Hunter College

Every day from July 17 through 31, the International Keyboard Institute and Festival will be holding keyboard concerts, afternoon lectures and master classes at the Kaye Playhouse and Lang Recital Hall.

The list of marquee performers includes Alexander Kobrin, Alexander Schimpf, Claire Huangci, Geoffrey Burleson, George Li, Jeffrey Swann, Jerome Rose, Jäger Meisters Chamber Orchestra, Magdalena Baczewska, Massimiliano Ferrati, Philippe Entremont, Stanislav Khristenko and Xiayin Wang.

Concerts at the Kaye by the marquee performers are $20 each. We are very excited about attending those, but also about concerts, lectures and masterclasses that are free and open to the public, including the MacKenzie Award competition rounds!

The Institute maintains a page with links to prior-years’ concerts.

At the conclusion of the Festival are the presentations of the Dorothy MacKenzie Artist Recognition Scholarship Awards, open to full-session participants only.