Preview: 28th Annual Chicago Duo Piano Festival Kicks Off This Weekend

The Canadian Duo Turgeon Perform and teach during the 28th Chicago Duo Piano Festival
Canadian Duo Turgeon perform and teach during the 28th Annual Chicago Duo Piano Festival. Photo by V. Tony Hauser.

The repertoire for piano duo is very rich, but performances can be rather rare. The Music Institute of Chicago has been remedying this situation with its annual Chicago Duo Piano Festival, the 28th of which will start Friday, July 8, and run until Sunday, July 17, at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave. in Evanston. This year’s program features concerts by guest artists and institute faculty, as well as a master class for members of the public wanting to improve their skills. This year’s festival follows a successful new tourney that the institute held for the first time this year in June, the International Duo Piano Competition.

The festival opens with a gala concert by the Music Institute of Chicago’s piano duo in residence, Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem, at 7:30pm Friday. In addition to having many international performances on their vitae, Aebersold and Neiweem founded the festival 28 years ago. Friday’s program includes music by Schubert, Liszt, Durey and Respighi.

A free faculty concert, which includes a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, will take place at 3pm Sunday, July 10. This will be followed by a faculty extravaganza concert, where members of the institute and festival perform a program of works by Mozart, Dukas and Rachmaninoff at 7:30pm Tuesday, July 12.

The Canadian husband and wife Duo Turgeon will return to the festival with a program of works by Schubert, Brahms, Gavrilin, Lutoslawski, Lecuona and Mignone on Friday, July 15 at 7:30 pm. Having played together since 1988, the Turgeons have performed hundreds of concerts and recitals around the world. They will also be giving a master class on the following day, Saturday, July 16, at 10am.

See program and ticket information here or call 800-838-3006.

Louis Harris
Louis Harris

A lover of music his whole life, Louis Harris has written extensively from the early days of punk and alternative rock. More recently he has focused on classical music, especially chamber ensembles. He has reviewed concerts, festivals, and recordings and has interviewed composers and performers. He has paid special attention to Chicago’s rich and robust contemporary art music scene. He occasionally writes poetry and has a published novel to his credit, 32 Variations on a Theme by Basil II in the Key of Washington, DC. He now lives on the north side of Chicago, which he considers to be the greatest city in the country, if not the world. Member of the Music Critics Association of North America.