2020 Festival

April 22 – May 10, 2020

The Gilmore Keyboard Festival is one of the most highly anticipated events of the summer music season. Recognized by NPR as “the largest gathering of piano talent in the Western Hemisphere,” the biennial Festival brings world-class musicians to Kalamazoo, Michigan for a totally immersive, three-week experience in classical and jazz keyboard music.

Love classical piano performances of all kinds? The Festival has the best of the best–solo, chamber, and orchestral. Cool jazz? Sit back and enjoy the beverage of your choice with the hottest of the cool. Got kids? Bring ‘em. The Festival offers tons of programs just for the little ones and their parents. The Gilmore Keyboard Festival is like nothing else on the planet. Make your plans now, and experience the joys of concert-hopping at its very best.

This year, we’ve organized the Festival events into 12 categories to make it quick and easy to find your favorite types of music or a particular kind of event. You’ll find a handy search feature on the events page, and every event will include the event type in the page banner. Here’s a complete list:

The headline-grabbing events that you will talk about and remember for years to come. Best enjoyed with friends!

For some artists, the works of Beethoven are an absolute passion. The Gilmore is delighted to present three of the very best of these artists at the 2020 Festival, each selected to represent a particular facet of the brilliant composer’s vast and varied repertoire. A fitting way to celebrate the master’s 250th birthday! 

At once thrilling in its freedom for creativity and interpretation, and challenging in its jaw-dropping intensity and difficulty, the solo piano recital is considered the Mt. Everest of musical achievement. The Gilmore is proud to present solo artists who are at the top of their game, garnering critical praise worldwide, and youngsters who will follow them in the years to come.

Two hundred years BB (Before Beethoven), Bach, Rameau, Couperin, and a host of their contemporaries were composing music distinctly different than what was being written, played, and even sung during the Renaissance period. They are nothing less than the Founding Fathers of what we now consider “classical” music, and are represented through three distinctly different, Blissfully Baroque concerts.

Since the first orchestral compositions were written in the 16th century, the genre has evolved into many distinctive types, easily able to accommodate a variety of musical styles, ensemble sizes, and changing tastes. The Gilmore is proud to present several glorious examples of classical music collaboration.

Jazz music is so irresistible, so uplifting, so swingy, and so full of energy, that its very name has become an adjective – jazzy! This truly American art form pulses with life, and those who perform it share an incredible connection with their instruments, each other, and the audience.

Few things have the capacity to transport us to another time and place as effectively as theater and film. The journey may be insightful, emotional, real, or fantasy, but it nearly always ends by changing our perspective of the world around us. Learn more about music, the people who perform it, the people who live for it, and maybe even a little about yourself, with these events.

Enter a space where darkness, light, shadows, sound, music, and rhythmic movement go beyond the traditional concert performance to create a completely immersive sensory experience. A great social media share!

Bring the kids to these engaging performances where hand-clapping, toe-tapping, and shrieks of laughter are encouraged! Pure fun and lots of learning too!

Observing a master class is a great way to gain insight into the extraordinary dedication it takes to become an exceptional pianist. Sit in as Festival artists share their gifts with talented classical and jazz piano students from across the country.

The Festival is delighted to partner with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Western Michigan University to present three informative adult enrichment classes. 

Meeting up with friends, sharing opinions, posting photos, and creating new memories is a huge part of the Festival experience. Enjoy great company responsibly at any one of the area’s wonderful night spots, our new Gilmore Lounge, or at a brown-bag pre-concert talk!

people walking in the front entrance to Gilmore
Steinway piano
gentleman playing piano on stage in front of audience

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Did you know? Contributor Circle donors have early access to tickets.

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