Grand Encounters 2021-2022

We are thrilled to announce our 2021‐22 Grand Encounters season, featuring performances by famed pianists Olga Kern and Michelle Cann as well as music from multiple American Pianists Awards winners, including 2021 classical winner Kenny Broberg.

American Pianists Association President and CEO Peter Mraz states, "I am thrilled to join the APA board and staff in announcing the 2021-22 Grand Encounters season⁠—my first as part of this wonderful organization. My colleagues and I look forward to hosting celebrated pianists Olga Kern and Michelle Cann in Indianapolis and sharing their immense talents with our audiences in two distinct concert programs. We are also overjoyed to welcome back Spencer Myer, Dan Tepfer, Frederic Chiu, Kenny Banks, Jr., Kenny Broberg, Adam Birnbaum, and Sullivan Fortner—all of whom belong to the APA family, and whose careers continue to blossom since their time with us. These 'reunions' will be a highlight of the season for all."

In a season kickoff like no other, 2021 American Pianists Awards winner Kenny Broberg returns to Indianapolis to perform alongside past Awards winners Frederic Chiu (1985), Spencer Myer (2006), Dan Tepfer (2007) and finalist Kenny Banks, Jr., (2019) for a concert featuring a variety of programming from Chopin to original music. The celebratory October 3rd concert (Indiana Landmarks) will bring our musical community back together.

On December 4, 2021 (Jazz Kitchen) 2004 and 2015 Awards winners Adam Birnbaum and Sullivan Fortner bring the heat in a performance of piano duos, called from the piano, as well as solo pieces in two sets.

To reach larger audiences, these first two concerts will be livestreamed on Facebook, YouTube and on our website. In-person audiences will be subject to the COVID‐safety policy of each event’s venue on the date of the event.

Leading into Spring 2022, Russian‐American pianist Olga Kern will perform a program of music from her home country as well as Beethoven, Schumann and Earl Wild’s lively transcription of Gershwin’s “Fascinating Rhythm” on March 13 (Indiana History Center). Born into a family of musicians with direct links to Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, she began studying piano at the age of five. Kern’s career was jumpstarted with her historic Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition as the first woman to do so in more than thirty years.

The season concludes with a concert by Michelle Cann, noted champion of the music of Florence Price. Price is considered the first recognized African‐American female composer with over 300 works to her credit. Cann performed the New York City premiere of the composer’s Concerto in One Movement with The Dream Unfinished Orchestra in July 2016 and the Philadelphia premiere with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet‐Séguin in February 2021, which the Philadelphia Inquirer called “exquisite.” On May 15 (Indiana History Center), she will perform Price’s “Fantasie Nègre No. 1 in E minor” as well as “Troubled Water” by Price’s contemporary Margaret Bonds in a program also including works by Chopin and Brahms.

Tickets are on sale now!


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