CCM's Annual Pianopalooza Extravaganza Returns April 15, 2012.

CCM's annual Pianopalooza extravaganza returns April 15, 2012.

CCM will present its annual celebration of the art of the piano with Pianopalooza VII at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 15, in Corbett Auditorium. This year’s event will be preceded by the third annual Bearcat Piano Festival, which will present master classes and recitals from April 12–14 in CCM’s Robert J. Werner Recital Hall.

This year, Pianopalooza welcomes guest of honor Frank Weinstock back to the CCM stage. A dedicated member of the faculty for 30 years, Weinstock served as Professor of Piano and also held key administrative appointments during his tenure, providing leadership as Interim Dean of CCM from January 2010 through August 2011. Recently retired, Weinstock will be playing Franz Shubert’s Impromptus as part of Pianopalooza VII’s program.

Pianopalooza VII guest of honor Frank Weinstock.

Pianopalooza VII guest of honor Frank Weinstock.

As a CCM alumnus and a former student of Weinstock’s, Piano Department Chair Michael Chertock has a great appreciation for the recently retired faculty member. “He is a great pianist and musician,” says Chertock, “and he was so effective as Interim Dean that I wonder if some students here even realized that his background wasn’t as an administrator.”

This year’s Pianopalooza is attracting former students of Weinstock’s from across the country. “We are having a reunion of sorts, and we are particularly excited for some of the students who attended back in the ’80s or ’90s to see how CCM looks now,” says Chertock. Some of Weinstock’s notable former students include 1987 Naumburg International Piano Competition winner Anton Nel and Grammy Award-winning member of eighth blackbird Lisa Kaplan.

Pianopalooza will also showcase the talents of current CCM faculty, including Chertock playing the First Tableau of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Eugene and Elisabeth Pridonoff performing Percy Grainger’s two-piano arrangement of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and James Tocco playing Virtuoso Etudes on Gershwin Songs by Earl Wild. WLWT-TV News 5 anchor Jack Atherton will again serve as the guest Master of Ceremonies.

Pianopalooza first came about as a way to entertain Cincinnati audiences enthusiastic or curious about piano music and also as a way to feature faculty members on a single, celebratory concert. Proceeds from the event help the CCM Piano Department fund guest-artist residencies, master classes and occasional help with student travel to competitions and recitals. In 2009, Pianopalooza gained national attention when it was featured on CBS Sunday Morning after CCM became an All-Steinway School.

Preceding Pianopalooza will be the third annual Bearcat Piano Festival, running from April 12-14. The festival offers audiences the opportunity to hear CCM piano students, faculty and guest artists free of charge. The festival will feature student recitals, master classes by celebrated French pianist Jean Yves Thibaudet, as well as Russian pianist and professor at the Eastman School of Music Natalya Antonova. The festival will also feature a Frank Weinstock Alumni Concert. Piano faculty member and Artist-in-Residence Awadagin Pratt founded the Bearcat Piano Festival in 2010. All Bearcat Piano Festival events are open and free to the public.

Pianopalooza VII and the Bearcat Piano Festival promise to excite and awe audiences with the beautiful sound and versatile styles this popular and complex instrument has to offer. This varied celebration of piano music and performers offers the perfect listening opportunity for music and keyboard enthusiasts of all ages in Corbett Auditorium on Sunday, April 15, at 7 p.m. and various times in Robert J. Werner Recital Hall from April 12-15.

Beartcat Piano Festival Performance Times*

  • 7 p.m. Thursday, April 12: Debussy Etudes by CCM Piano Students
  • 2 – 4 p.m. Friday, April 13: Jean Yves Thibaudet Masterclass
  • 8 p.m. Friday, April 13: A Reverie of Debussy and Ravel by CCM Piano Students
  • 2 – 4 p.m. Saturday, April 14: Natalya Antonova Masterclass
  • 7 p.m. Saturday, April 14: Frank Weinstock Alumni Concert

*Festival dates and performances subject to change.

Bearcat Piano Festival Location
Robert J. Werner Recital Hall, College-Conservatory of Music
University of Cincinnati

Pianopalooza Performance Times
Sunday, April 15, 7 p.m.

Pianopalooza Location
Corbett Auditorium, College-Conservatory of Music
University of Cincinnati

Tickets and Parking
Tickets for Pianopalooza are $15 general admission, $10 non-UC students and FREE to UC students with valid ID. All Bearcat Piano Festival events are open and free to the public. Parking is available in the CCM Garage (at the base of Corry Boulevard off of Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. For complete ticket and parking information, visit or call the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183.

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

CCM is an All-Steinway School

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