Prelude to a season

American Pianists Association’s Grand Encounters 2019-2020 season does not start until November, but those in Indianapolis have many opportunities to hear great pianists perform before then.

Next week, 2019 American Pianists Awards winner Emmet Cohen returns to the Jazz Kitchen for Indy Jazz Fest. Here is a clip from his last sold out performance there—the 2019 Club Finals!

The next day, 2017 Awards winner Drew Petersen arrives as the guest artist for the Indiana Music Teachers Association state convention. Drew will give a free, public performance at University of Indianapolis on Friday September 20.

Speaking of UIndy, Emmet Cohen will cross paths with Drew on campus that weekend, when Emmet begins his residency at school. Drew and Emmet discussed this unique honor bestowed upon winners of the American Pianists Awards in a recorded discussion for Indianapolis Monthly.

COHEN: What can I expect during my residency?
PETERSEN: The main thing I felt I was doing was interacting and making music, just getting to know people and sharing what we have to offer. It’s pretty relaxed—going into classrooms and meeting with students, teaching lessons, doing master classes, performing. It was a really cool, diverse set of experiences.
COHEN: What stood out to you about the UIndy students?
PETERSEN: They’re extremely passionate and collegial and very friendly. I felt like I was immediately inducted into a family.
COHEN: Was it hard to get into a pattern, being there only one week at a time for four semesters?
PETERSEN: It was a little tricky to go in for a week and then disappear for months at a time, then reappear another week. You’re not going to feel like you’re in charge of any student’s destiny. But you can still track people over that period of time and see them change quite rapidly.
COHEN: Well, it’s helpful to hear that you had such a good experience. I know the students are changed for the better because of you, Drew.
PETERSEN: That’s very sweet. I know you’re going to be a huge inspiration to them. I can’t wait to hear all about it!

As part of his residency, Emmet will perform in the Faculty Artist Concert Series on Monday September 23, playing solo and collaborating with UIndy jazz faculty Mark O’Connor, Brandon Meeks and Kenny Phelps.

2013 Awards winner Sean Chen continues to delight the Indianapolis-area with his music, and will be back September 28 playing with the Anderson Symphony, October 19 & 20 with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and November 2 with the Terre Haute Symphony. We will have more on the unique October program, Immigrants & the Golden Age of Hollywood, in next month’s newsletter.

Finally, as a teaser to the Grand Encounters season opener (our 40th Anniversary concert featuring winners from every decade), 2006 Awards winner Stephen Beus will perform a a free solo recital on Saturday October 5 at Christ Church Cathedral on Monument Circle. It has been a while since we have welcomed Stephen back to town and his program promises a dramatic return!

As always, check out our Facebook events page for concerts we have on schedule and our website calendar for performances by recent winners across the country.


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