A five-day festival showcasing the talent of some of the region’s finest young concert pianists will be held Nov. 9-13 in Roosevelt University’s Rudolph Ganz Memorial Hall, 430 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.
A rare piano performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s complete Art of the Fugue by award-winning pianist Winston Choi highlights the festival at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10. Choi is on the piano faculty and directs the piano program at Chicago College of Performing Arts. Known around the world for his fresh and colorful approach to standard repertory, the dynamic young artist will lend new meaning and interpretation to Bach’s masterpiece, which is sometimes performed by string quartets, mixed ensembles, brass quartets and organists, but rarely by a solo pianist.
Other activities taking place during the festival are:
• Performance solos by CCPA faculty members and students in locations throughout the Chicago area
• Announcement of a $100,000 gift to the piano program for student scholarships
• Dedication and unveiling of a new piano performance space, featuring a beautiful fully refurbished 1920s Steinway piano
Performances by student soloists, who hail from all over the world, will open the festival at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9 during a Piano Showcase Recital at Ganz that will be broadcast live on 98.7 WFMT radio. The station will pre-record interviews with the students, which will be broadcast on WFMT during the recital.
“Growing numbers of people are becoming aware of our piano program and we believe this festival will be a source of inspiration for our students and the entire CCPA piano community,” said Choi, who directs the program that today has seven faculty members and 40 students, two thirds whom are international.
“This is the first time that the work of Roosevelt’s talented piano students will be featured on WFMT,” added Peter Whorf, program director at the radio station. “We hope the performances will be enjoyed and well-received by our radio listeners and by the performing arts community at large.”
On Nov. 11, CCPA will announce a new scholarship program for piano students being made possible through a $100,000 donation by Wilmette resident Phyllis Berlin. The 1958 Roosevelt graduate, who received a bachelor’s degree in math, is giving $100,000 to the piano program for student scholarships in honor and memory of the program’s late professor Saul Dorfman, who gave Berlin piano lessons for free when she couldn’t afford to pay.
CCPA also will unveil and dedicate the piano program’s Solomon Mikowsky Recital Hall, a new piano recital space seating 40 and featuring a newly refurbished 1920s Steinway B piano, on Sunday, Nov. 13. A distinguished member of the artist-faculty at CCPA, Mikowsky gave $100,000 to the University for the space and the piano. Five of Mikowsky’s students will perform a private, inaugural recital in the new space as part of the unveiling and dedication. Also a member of the piano faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in New York, Mikowsky recently made a similar gift to the Manhattan school.
Now in its third season, the CCPA Piano Festival is free and open to the public. Noteworthy performances include: a 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 piano and song recital called “Seasons of Love,” being performed by CCPA faculty members Dana Brown and Rebecca Schorsch, and featuring works by Olivier Messiaen, Hugo Wolf, Sergei Rachmaninov and others; a 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 recital by soloist and CCPA piano faculty member Meng Chieh Liu, and featuring works by Johannes Brahms, Frederic Chopin and Karol Szymanowski; and a finale recital at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13 by Choi and fellow CCPA faculty member Kuang-Hao Huang, and featuring pieces by Bach, Conlon Nancarrow, Maurice Ravel, Jacob TV and John Adams.
“The Piano Festival offers a chance for all to come out and hear our accomplished faculty and our most talented students,” said Henry Fogel, dean of Chicago College of Performing Arts. “We hope that all who enjoy the piano will join us at Ganz Hall or at many other recital locations this fall in our city neighborhoods and in the suburbs.”
The student soloists will be performing throughout the region at the following times and locations: 8:50 a.m. and again at 11:20 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 26 at Social Justice High School, 3120 S. Kostner Ave., Chicago; time, Oct. 25, Chicago Academy for the Arts, 1010 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago; 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1 at Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg Campus, 1400 N. Roosevelt Blvd., Schaumburg; 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 4, Northbrook Public Library, 1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, Unity Temple, 875 Lake St., Oak Park; and noon, Dec. 3, Merit School of Music, 38 S. Peoria St., Chicago.
Chosen to perform after trying out in a competition sponsored by the piano program at Roosevelt in October, the winning student soloists include:
Chanmi Ryu, a native of South Korea and a resident of Chicago’s West Loop. Ryu has been a guest artist with the Chicago Chamber Musicians and a soloist with the Chicago College of Performing Arts Symphony Orchestra at the Auditorium Theatre. She will be performing Prelude and Fugue in F Major, WTC II by Johann Sebastian Bach and Franz Lizst’s Transcendental Etude No. 10 in F Minor.
Allegra Sorley, a resident of Chicago’s South Loop and a junior piano performance major from the Indianapolis area. Allegra is a recent winner of the state’s Indiana Music Teachers Association competition in the high school division and has raised thousands of dollars performing in recitals for various charities. She will play two Preludes by Claude Debussy, General Lavin – Eccentric and Bruyeres and George Gershwin’s Preludes for Piano.
Jana Pavlovska, a resident of Chicago’s Gold Coast and a native of Macedonia. Pavlovska, is a national and international performer, having won solo and chamber prizes all over the world. She will play Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo” from Sonata No. 30, Op. 109.
John Urban, a resident of Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood and a native of Jacksonville, Fla.. Urban has won prizes in his home state for his concerto, solo and collaborative piano performances. He also composes music and poetry and enjoys musicology and the study of mystic spiritual traditions. Urban will play Frederic Chopin’s Barcarolle, Op. 60 and “Allegro marcato” from Alberto Ginastera’s Sonata No. 1, Op. 22.
Alice Chenyang Xu, a resident of Chicago’s South Loop and a native of Sichuan, China. Xu has been a soloist and chamber musician in Canada and all over China and is making her third CCPA Piano Festival appearance. She will play Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Op.35 Book 1 by Johannes Brahms.
SangHee Han, a native of Korea who lives on the Chicago Campus and is studying for her master’s degree in music. Han is the recent winner of the annual concerto competition at Northern Illinois University and has performed with the NIU Philharmonic Orchestra. She will play “Dance of the Old Herdsman,” “Dance of the Beautiful Maiden” and “Dance of the Arrogant Cowboy” from Alberto Ginastera’s Danzas Argentinas, Op. 2.
Student performances also will be recorded for You Tube, and all listeners/viewers from the community will be invited to vote for their favorite soloist/performance. For more information, contact Winston Choi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
430 S. Michigan Ave.Chicago, IL 60605(312) 341-3500
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1400 N. Roosevelt Blvd.Schaumburg, IL 60173(847) 619-7300
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