arts>World Financial Center Announces Lineup For 200 Hours Of Chopin Celebration

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The classical music world is gearing up to celebrate Frederic Chopin's 200th birthday on March 1st, and one of the most ambitious tributes in the world will be happening for free in downtown Manhattan.

arts>World Financial Center will join the global celebration of the life and music of Chopin with 200 hours of free piano performances by such top virtuosos as Christopher O'Riley, Claire Huangci, Vassily Primakov, and the winner of next month's 8th National Chopin Piano Competition in Miami.

arts>World Financial Center is New York City's largest year-round showcase for free visual and performing arts.

From Monday, March 1st through Friday, March 5th, live performances of the Romantic classical composer's work will echo throughout the World Financial Center all day long, originating from four concert pianos placed at various locations on the building's street and lobby levels.

Each evening at 7:00 pm, the venue's Winter Garden main stage will host a free solo concert by a roster of classical piano virtuosos, including Claire Huangci, winner of the Chopin Competition of Europe (March 1); TBD (March 2); NPR's "From the Top" host Christopher O'Riley (March 3); Vassily Primakov (March 4); and the winner of next month's 8th National Chopin Piano Competition in Miami, the only major music competition open exclusively to American pianists (March 5).

Each morning from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, all four pianos will be available to any amateur pianist eager to sit down and show off their Chopin chops to the public. From 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm (except Winter Garden piano, 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm), a tag team of some of the world's top concert pianists, up-and- coming performers, and students in leading conservatories and training programs will take over.

"Chopin's great talent lay in his ability to compose music that was both technically demanding yet accessible to a wide audience," said Debra Simon, Artistic Director of arts>World Financial Center. "We're thrilled to celebrate his bicentennial with a spectacular event that, much like his work and our own programming, is simultaneously stimulating, inspiring, and irresistibly appealing."

The event is produced by veteran broadcaster and music producer Jim Luce, who has produced the Caramoor Jazz Festival for the last 17 years, and produced major jazz documentaries for PRI, The WFMT Radio Network and NPR, including the definitive Peabody Award-winning series on Miles Davis in 2001.

Daytime performers will include Sachiko Kato, Miori Sugiyama, Hsia-Jung, Arun Nadgir, Sheng-Yuan Kuan, Matthew Quayle, Jung Lin, Fumiyo Narita, Nami Sugiuchi, Melody Fader, Jonathan Levin, Natalia Lavrova, Blair McMillian, Danny Spiegal, Julie Jordan, Saar Ahuvia, Stephanie Ho, Lura Johnson, Monica Ohuchi, Young Park, Yalin Chi, Kimball Gallagher, Hwaen Ch'uqi, Lian Hua, Liu
Ye, Hitome Honda, Quentin Kim, Eleni Traqanas, Taka Kigawa, Ja-Young Kim, Yuxi Wang, StEve Beck, Joel Wizansky, Robert DeGaetano, Matthew Cameron, Dillar Quaille, Mirna Lekic, Oliver Markson, Jonathan Floril and others, plus students from the Julliard School, Mannes, Brooklyn College, Lucy Moses, NYU, Manhattan School of Music, CUNY, Stony Brook, Rutgers, Turtle Bay,
Greenwich Music House, 3rd Street Music Settlement, Queens College, Montclair State University, Ithaca College, Shenandoah University, Friends of the Bronx Conservatory of Music, and others.

Now in its 22nd season, arts>World Financial Center is the East Coast's largest presenter of free, year-round performing and visual arts. Other season highlights include Sounds from the Black Box, featuring animations by South African artist William Kentridge paired with new scores by South African composer Philip Miller, and a three-week run of New York Classical Theatre's Hamlet, Prince of Denmark to be performed throughout nearly 3.5 acres of the sprawling World Financial Center.

Some of the finest pianos in the world will be performed on during this week- long event. Featured pianos include instruments from Fazioli and Hamburg Steinway, courtesy of Klavierhaus; Shigeru Kawai, courtesy of Piano Clearinghouse of Westchester; Bosendorfer, courtesy of Kimball Office; and Sauter, courtesy of Noble Art Pianos. All pianos are offered for sale at

About arts>World Financial Center
arts>World Financial Center <> is the leading showcase in Lower Manhattan for visual and performing arts, presenting the work of emerging and established artists. The artistic process is made accessible in a free, open and interactive manner to workers, residents and the broader public of cultural consumers. Since 1988, year- round and free to the public, arts>World Financial Center has presented interdisciplinary arts programming with an emphasis on commissioned works, site-specific installations and premieres.

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