The Music Institute of Chicago’s popular Chicago Duo Piano Festival, as part of its mission to foster the performance and teaching of music for piano duo for young performers, presents its 2015 Competition for Young Piano Duos May 30 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston.
The competition is open to students between the ages of eight and 18 in two divisions, Elementary and High School. Competitors may perform two or three works for piano duo—either four hands, one piano, or four hands, two pianos, or a combination. The winners concert takes place Saturday, May 30 at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. Chicago’s classical music radio network WFMT will record the High School Division winners for later broadcast. Elementary Division prizes are $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place. High School Division prizes are $800 for first place, $600 for second place, and $400 for third place. The judges will be experts in piano duo and ensemble performance who are not affiliated with the Music Institute.
The registration deadline is April 15, 2015. Information and an application are available at musicinst.org/cdpf-competition
The Competition for Young Piano Duos concert, which takes place Saturday, May 30 at 7 p.m. is FREE and open to the public.
Chicago Duo Piano Festival
Called a “duo piano mecca” by Pioneer Press, the Chicago Duo Piano Festival was founded in 1988 by Music Institute of Chicago faculty members Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem. Its mission is to foster a deeper interest in the repertoire, performance, and teaching of music for piano, four hands and two pianos, in a fun and supportive atmosphere. The Festival offers opportunities to piano students age 12 through adult through a winter mini-festival, a summer festival and periodic competitions, master classes, and workshops.
Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem
Chicago Duo Piano Festival Founders and Directors Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem, artists in residence and faculty members at the Music Institute, enjoy an international career as proponents of music for both piano duet and two keyboards. The duo has appeared with orchestras internationally, including the Chicago Philharmonic and the Vienna Tonkünstler. They have performed in recitals throughout the U.S. and Europe. Recent concerts include a 25th anniversary celebration concert at Merkin Hall in New York, an appearance at the Gina Bachauer Festival in Salt Lake City, and two recitals in Odessa, Ukraine. Aebersold and Neiweem have commissioned significant new works for the piano duo, including pieces by Joseph Turrin and Patrick Byers. The duo’s CDs on the Summit label include Four Hand Reflections and music of Brahms and Schubert.