Chicago Duo Piano Festival's 30th Season Continues with Winter Mini-Fest

Chicago Duo Piano Festival's 30th Season Continues with Winter Mini-Fest

The 30th anniversary season of the Music Institute of Chicago's Chicago Duo Piano Festival (CDPF) continues with the Chicago Duo Piano Winter Mini-fest, featuring master classes, coachings, lectures, student recitals, and performances March 2-4 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston.

Mini-fest concerts, open to the general public, feature the next installment in the Duo Piano Dialogues series, "Exploring Claude Debussy." Duo Piano Dialogues, a series of performances with commentary by CDPF piano duo in residence Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem, spotlights the unique repertoire for two pianists at one and two pianos. Marking the centenary of Debussy's death, Aebersold and Neiweem present a program, which takes placeFriday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m., dedicated to the composer's music for piano duo, including his own arrangement ofLa Mer for piano, four hands.

A "Faculty Extravaganza" concert showcasing the talented Music Institute faculty includes Xiaomin Liang and Jue He, Sung Hoon Mo and Inah Chiu, Mio Isoda and Matthew Hagle, and Irene Faliks and Maya Brodotskaya performing music by Schoenfield, Schubert, Rachmaninoff, and Gershwin. The concert takes place Saturday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Called a "duo piano mecca" by Pioneer Press, the Chicago Duo Piano Festival was founded in 1988 by Music Institute of Chicago faculty members and piano duo in residence Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem. Its mission is to foster a deeper interest in the repertoire, performance, and teaching of music for piano, four hands and two pianos, in a fun and supportive atmosphere. The festival offers coaching, master classes, concerts with special guest artists, and recitals for students age eight through adult.

Concluding the season is the 30th Chicago Duo Piano Festival July 8-22, offering participants coaching, lectures, master classes, and recitals and featuring an expanded schedule of public performances, including a world premiere of American composer Robert Chumbley's Whispers and Cries, a musical exploration of Beethoven's growing deafness, in collaboration with the Dranoff Foundation in Miami, and two guest artist concerts: the New York-based duo Vassily Primakov and Natalia Lavrova and the Italian duo Vincenzo Maxia and Giuseppe Bruno performing Liszt's "Faust" Symphony and "Les Preludes." For more details, visit

The Chicago Duo Piano Festival's Winter Mini-fest concerts take place
Friday, March 2 (Duo Piano Dialogues: "Exploring Claude Debussy")
and Saturday, March 3 (Faculty Extravaganza) at 7:30 p.m.
at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston.
Tickets for each concert are $30 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $10 for students.
Duo Piano Dialogues tickets are available at;
Faculty Extravaganza concert tickets are available at, or for either concert, call 800-838-3006.

Photos of Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem by Michelle Kaffko.

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