gilmore keyboard festival

Pino Manocchio

Honoring players of the past, and developing an original voice at the same time, isn't as contradictory as it seems, according to Emmet Cohen. The jazz pioneers he admires all paved the way by being confident in their own self-expression. Cohen is doing the same thing, while making it his mission to play alongside as many of today's jazz legends as possible.

Ellen Appel-Mike Moreland

Sean Chen has gone through a lot of life changes in just a few years. He completed his studies at the Juilliard School and Yale, took the bronze medal at the 2013 Van Cliburn Piano Competition, and was awarded a fellowship worth $100,000 by the American Pianists Association. This month, he got married to his fiancée, a violinist, and moved to Kansas City, MO. But he's focused on opening the Gilmore Keyboard Festival's Rising Stars Series this Sunday.

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.

At the 2016 Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, jazz pianist Taylor Eigsti made his first appearance in 14 years, with two sold-out shows at Bell's Eccentric Cafe (co-presented by Fontana.)  In an interview with Cara Lieurance prior to his performance, Eigsti takes a hard look at the realities of life on the road. With over 200 performance dates a year, he acknowledges that the joy of playing jazz with his trusted friends for live audiences comes with a lack of grounding and routine caused by constant travel.

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

Conductor Raymond Harvey tells listeners what to expect in the Festival Finale of the 2016 Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. There will be two piano soloists: 2014 Gilmore Artist Rafał Blechacz (performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2) and composer and pianist Michel Legrand, who will premiere his new Concerto For Piano