CCM will celebrate the art of the piano with a series of special events this February. The fifth annual Bearcat Piano Festival presents master classes and guest artist concerts from Feb. 6 – 11 in the Robert J. Werner Recital Hall and the Mary Emery Hall Master Classroom, followed by the ninth edition of CCM’s Pianopalooza showcase at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16, in Corbett Auditorium.
Launched in 2010 by CCM’s Piano Department Chair Awadagin Pratt, the Bearcat Piano Festival has grown into a veritable piano spectacular with several days of master classes and recitals by piano greats. This year’s Festival will feature a “Friends, Family and Favorites” theme:
- Performances by “friends” include Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Louisville Dror Biran and University of Michigan doctoral student pianists.
- The festival celebrates “family” as Professor Emeritus Frank Weinstock returns to the CCM stage, while Momoro Ono – Juilliard graduate and brother of UC President Santa J. Ono – makes his CCM debut.
- As for “favorites,” CCM presents performances by acclaimed pianist Boris Slutsky and 2013 World Piano Competition Gold Medalist Marianna Prjevalskaya (who also studied with Slutsky). This will mark the first time in the history of the World Piano Competition that the winner is presented in a public recital.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Pianopalooza IX, directed by CCM’s Division of Keyboard Studies Head Michael Chertock, will include songs of love and romance. The program showcases spectacular student pianists and features special appearances by CCM faculty artists including Awadagin Pratt, James Tocco and Chertock himself. Pratt will perform music by Rachmaninoff, Tschaikovsky, Schumann and celebrated jazz pianist (and Cincinnati native) Fred Hersch. Tocco and Chertock will present selections from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story.
Pianopalooza IX and the Bearcat Piano Festival promise to excite audiences with the beautiful sound and versatile styles that this popular and complex instrument has to offer — the perfect listening opportunity for music and keyboard enthusiasts of all ages.
Please see individual listings below for additional information. The Boris Slutsky, Marianna Prjevalskaya and Pianopalooza IX concerts require paid admission. All other Bearcat Piano Festival events are free and open to the general public. All dates and programs are subject to change.