Rhinegold Photo credit: Gregor Hohenberg
Igor Levit, 2018 Gilmore Artist, will perform Beethoven at this year's festival

Josephine Miles

Gilmore Keyboard Festival announces 2020 programme

11:34, 23rd January 2020

The Gilmore International Keyboard Festival has announced details of its 2020 programme

Taking place from 22 April to 10 May in Kalamazoo, Michigan, this year’s festival features almost 40 pianists in over 100 concerts and events.

Highlights include:

  • Solo recitals: in celebration of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary year, three solo recitals are dedicated to the composer’s piano sonatas. Yefim Bronfman performs the three Op 10 sonatas and the Appassionata; Jonathan Biss plays Op 2 No 2, Op 31 No 1, Op 90 and Op 110; and Igor Levit (2018 Gilmore Artist) performs the Hammerklavier, Op 14 No 2 and Op 22. Kristian Bezuidenhout gives a programme of Haydn and Mozart on the fortepiano, while Alexander Ullman pairs Haydn with Beethoven. Angela Hewitt brings her ‘Bach Odyssey’ concert series to the Gilmore, and Alexandre Tharaud performs his recital programme ‘Music from the Grand Court of Versailles’. Sergei Babayan gives an all-Chopin programme while Beatrice Rana’s recital spans Bach to Albeniz and Stravinsky. 2020 Gilmore Young Artists Misha Galant and Maxim Lando will present various recitals throughout the festival.
  • Masterclasses: Yefim Bronfman, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Alexandre Tharaud, Beatrice Rana and Igor Levit will give free public masterclasses the day following each of their recitals.
  • Partitura Residency with Maria João Pires: from 1 to 9 May, Maria João Pires presents her collaborative, interdisciplinary Partitura Residency. Pires launched the Partitura initiative in 2014 to promote cooperation and social engagement among pianists through daily group sessions, public recitals and concerts in the community. At the Gilmore, six participants will take part in group workshop activities before giving a special concert to those in the greater Kalamazoo community with little exposure to classical music.
  • Orchestral concerts: Igor Levit will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 3 with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, while pianist-composer Michael Brown joins the Gilmore Festival Chamber Orchestra in the world premiere of his Beethoven-inspired Concerto for Piano and Strings, co-commissioned by the Gilmore.
  • Chamber music: the chamber line-up includes recitals by piano trio Trio Solisti, violinist Jinjoo Cho and pianist Lori Sims, and piano duo ZOFO (Eva-Maria Zimmerman and Keisuke Nakagoshi).
  • Jazz and other events: four distinctive jazz concerts will be staged throughout the festival, alongside events such as Rob Schwimmer’s recital with theremin and ‘Haken Continuum’ (an electronic keyboard instrument whose flat surface allows a performer to play along a continuous pitch spectrum), a performance by musical comedy duo Igudesman & Joo, and the art installation ‘Oscillators’ which features pendulums created from the keys of a de-constructed piano.

Founded in 1989 in the memory of Irving S Gilmore, a local Kalamazoo businessman and philanthropist, the Gilmore has since staged 14 biennial keyboard festivals in addition to its ‘Piano Masters’ and ‘Rising Stars’ concert series and various education initiatives.

Commenting on the 2020 festival, Gilmore director Pierre van der Westhuizen said: ‘This year’s festival was designed to demonstrate how incredibly flexible a piano can be, and how well it has adapted to the evolution of music over the centuries. To that end, we have a wide range of artists and ensembles using a keyboard in different ways, from Mozart’s works played on a pianoforte, to thoroughly contemporary compositions performed by a jazz trio.’


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