Cara Lieurance

One thing that makes Tchaikovsky great, according to pianist Yefim Bronfman, is the nobility with which he expresses emotional vulnerability. Bronfman will perform the famous composer's rarely-heard Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra in its season-opening concert. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, he discusses other qualities that make Tchaikovsky one of the best composers Russian ever produced. 

John Abbott

In a preview of the Rising Stars Series, Gilmore International Keyboard Festival executive director Dan Gustin says to expect pianists of remarkable caliber to visit Kalamazoo every month between September and May. They include Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho, winner of the 2015 Chopin International Competition in Warsaw, Poland; Honens Competition winner Pavel Kolesnikov of Russia, and Cliburn Competition laureates Sara Daneshpour and Sean Chen, both Americans. Another American, Emmet Cohen, recipient of the Thelonius Monk prize, is the lone jazz pianist among the classical players.

Nan Melville

The upcoming school year at Western Michigan University's School of Music will feature a 50th anniversary concert by the Western Brass Quintet, performances by world-class choirs A Roomful Of Teeth and The Rose Ensemble, and the return of the inspiring Sphinx Virtuosi, to name a few. School of Music director Brad Wong and Director of Concerts Kevin West share even more upcoming highlights, and invite people to come and see what's happening at the Dalton Center.

Percussionist Carolyn Koebel, one of West Michigan's most in-demand musicians, has released at least ten albums, with various groups, in the last three years. One of her favorite collaborators is Elden Kelly, a guitarist with a love for improvisation that equals Koebel's own. They'll perform both improvisations and composed songs for the final concert in the "Cool Concerts" Series, Wednesday at 8 pm at the First Baptist Church of Kalamazoo.

There are nine productions in the new season of theater at Western Michigan University: everything from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to the musical The Wiz. Behind the scenes, faculty and students are prepping everything from scripts, to sets, to advertising, as they launch a non-stop year of drama, comedy, musicals, and more.