Three Gilmore Artists to Light up the Festival 

April 2, 2024

It’s been a while since we have been lucky enough to offer three Gilmore Artists to choose from at the Piano Festival. This year, you have the opportunity to hear four performances featuring these stellar international artists.   

First up on April 29 is Ingrid Fliter, 2006 Gilmore Artist and winner of the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. She will present Chopin’s 3rd Piano Sonata, Op. 58, and Schumann’s Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13. She is known for her delicate touch and profound interpretations of classical compositions. Gilmore Executive and Artistic Director Pierre van der Westhuizen shares some thoughts about her visit.

“When I first heard Ingrid play Chopin, I thought someone had ripped out my heart and put it back together again. I’ve never experienced such powerful emotion in his music, and it was immediately clear to me why she was chosen to be a Gilmore Artist. I’m so grateful she’ll be here this year, playing Chopin and Schumann.” 

2010 Gilmore artist Kirill Gerstein will bring his signature style to a varied program on May 10 that includes a new Gilmore commission and music by Chopin, Fauré, Liszt, and Godowsky. The Grammy-nominated Gerstein blends the traditions of Russian, American, and Central European schooling combined with a strong background in jazz. He is known for his clarity of expression, discerning intelligence, virtuosity, and energy. 

“Kirill Gerstein is a visionary,” says van der Westhuizen. “His artistic vision fully embodies the Gilmore Award’s ideals of a great virtuoso making an impact on the field of music. He has commissioned many of the world’s leading composers including Matthew Aucoin, composer of The Tracks Have Vanished, who will be presenting a concert preview before the performance. I am so anticipating his return to The Gilmore,”

2002 Gilmore Artist Piotr Anderszewski will be at the Festival for a whole week: teaching, performing, chatting, and sharing. Opportunities to engage with him include two performances, a film screening, and observing him teach a master class to our Festival Fellows.  

His first performance at the Festival will be a solo recital on May 9, for which he has recently updated his program: 

L.v. Beethoven  |  Bagatelles, Op. 126
Chopin  |  3 Mazurka, Op. 59
Szymanowski  |  20 Mazurkas, Op. 50 (Nos. 3, 7, 8, 5, 4)
Bartók  |  14 Bagatelles, Op. 6
J.S. Bach  |  Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major, BWV 825

Anderszewski’s program includes Mazurkas, a popular Polish folk dance, by composers whose music seems to course through his blood: Chopin and Szymanowski – also both Polish,” says Mr. van der Westhuizen. “Bookending this magnificent recital, he sets the stage for ‘stylized’ dance music. Both Beethoven and Bach employed dance elements expertly crafted to become true works of art: Beethoven’s kaleidoscope of emotions and colors in the Bagatelles (a popular German folk dance), and the great J.S. Bach’s 1st Partita, a delightful auditory library of dances like the Gigue and the beautiful Sarabande.”

He will also appear on May 11, “Piotr is a fiercely intellectual and deeply emotional artist,” continues van der Westhuizen. “His quest for artistic truth makes him seem almost a bit eccentric to some. But these qualities combine to create performances that leave critics and audiences breathless and blinking in disbelief. In his final performance with us, with the KSO on Saturday, May 11, he will play-conduct Beethoven from the bench with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, a skill almost impossible to describe. It will be a unique evening also featuring 2022 Gilmore Young Artists Janice Carissa and Clayton Stephenson, performing together on two pianos.”

Each concert will be preceded one hour prior by a concert preview by musicologist Dr. Zaide Pixley. Purchase your tickets today – some performances have only a few left!

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