IN TUNE: A wonderful concert for families

2014-03-09T08:30:00Z 2014-03-11T13:32:08Z IN TUNE: A wonderful concert for familiesBy Kirk Muspratt Special to The Times
March 09, 2014 8:30 am  • 

Dear readers,

Our next Symphony concert is going to be a wonderful concert for families! It certainly will be a super concert for anyone who loves the piano or is studying the piano.

Why? Well, there will be two pianos on stage, facing each other; dueling pianos, if you will. And these two pianos will be played by two award-winning Chicago pianists, Marta Aznavoorian and Winston Choi.

The concert will open with the Poulenc Double Piano Concerto—a piece full of virtual pyrotechnics of piano virtuosity as well as the most gracious, French melodies ever heard along the boulevard in Paris. This music was written in the 1930s, when French composers were revolting against "modern" atonal music. They wanted to create music that was pleasant to the ear and music that one could happily whistle on the way out of the concert hall.

In addition, during part of the concerto, we will have "piano-cams" on the hands of our soloists so that you will be able to see their amazing feats up close and personal on the large screens.

This will be followed by another 'dueling piano' piece—Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals. I think that most of us will recognize this piece from Fantasia. However, if you don't, then perhaps from the French exhibit at Epcot at Walt Disney World or some of the different themes have been used in tons of movies, from Godfather II or Only You. The Swan, which is only for cello and pianos, is especially lovely.

This piece is fantastically magical for children as each of the animals is represented by an instrument in the orchestra. This is why I think that this concert is so perfect for families. Each of the pieces in Carnival of the Animals is between 1 minute and 3 minutes long, and we will have pictures on the big screens to identify the animals, so this is terrific for children. They can gobble up the music in little bits and learn things incrementally. Plus, they will probably really enjoy the Cookies with Kirk afterwards where they have a chance to meet me and the pianists after the show!

Yes, I think that this is a splendid chance for all pianists, piano students, moms and dads, "grampas" and "grammas" to attend with the young people in their lives and revel in this fun concert!

I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that it is going to sell out so please call and grab your tickets now, eh? The weather is going to be grand, sunny with a high of 40! A great night to go out with the family, celebrate almost springtime and St. Patty's Day weekend. Did I mention that we are going to play some secret Irish encores at the end of the concert!?

What a night it will be!

The Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra presents Dueling Pianos, Friday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m. at The Auditorium at Bethel Church, 10202 Broadway, Crown Point. The concert will feature Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos, Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals, and Brahms Symphony No. 4. Pianists Marta Aznavoorian and Winston Choi will perform. Maestro Muspratt will hold a pre-concert discussion about at 6:15 that is free for all ticket holders. Call 219-836-0525 or visit for tickets. This concert is sponsored by The Crown Point Community Foundation and The Giragos Family.

Opinions are solely those of the writer's. Kirk Muspratt is the conductor of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra. Muspratt's column is an occasional feature during symphony season.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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