Twin sisters Christina and Michelle Naughton were born in New Jersey and grew up in Wisconsin, where their first piano lessons were given by their mother. Growing up, the sisters performed individually until the age of 18 when a concert presenter requested that they perform together. That marked the beginning of their preference to perform as a duo. Both are graduates of The Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music, where they were each awarded the Festorazzi Prize. Their professional careers were launched in 2010 with debuts at The Kennedy Center and at Philadelphia’s Mann Center for the Performing Arts with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The following year the Naughtons performed in Munich’s Herkulessaal and began to establish their reputation outside of the U.S. They are Steinway Artists, and recently signed an exclusive recording contract with Warner Classics. They now live in New York City.
|RAVEL||“Mother Goose Suite” for Four Hands|
|CHOPIN||Rondo for Two Pianos in C Major|
|JOHN ADAMS||“Hallelujah Junction”|
|MENDELSSOHN||Andante and Variations in B flat Major, Op.83 for Four Hands|
|TCHAIKOVSKY||“The Nutcracker” for Two Pianos, Op. 71|
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Christina and Michelle Naughton have been hailed by the San Francisco Examiner for their “stellar musicianship, technical mastery, and awe-inspiring artistry.” The Naughtons made their European debut at Herkulesaal in Munich, where the Sueddeutsche Zeitung proclaimed them “an outstanding piano duo”. They made their Asian debut with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, where the Sing Tao Daily said of their performance “Joining two hearts and four hands at two grand pianos, the Naughton sisters created an electrifying and moving musical performance.” An appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra led the Philadelphia Inquirer to characterize their playing as “paired to perfection,” while the Saarbrücker Zeitung exclaimed “this double star could soon prove to be a supernova.” They have captivated audiences throughout the globe with the unity created by their mystical musical communication, as featured by the Wall Street Journal in their own words “There are times I forget we are two people playing together”. The sisters recently signed an exclusive recording contract with Warner Classics which released their second album, “Visions” in March 2016. Subsequently, “Visions” was named “Editor’s Choice” in May 2016 by Gramophone Magazine.
The Naughtons opened their 2016-2017 season with their debut at The Royal Concertgebouw playing Mozart’s Double Piano Concerto with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. Other season highlights include performances across the United States with the Milwaukee, Madison and San Antonio Symphonies in addition to recital engagements at the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, the Grand Tetons Festival, the Gardner Museum, Big Arts in Sanibel Island and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. The duo will be seen in recital and orchestral engagements throughout Germany, Spain and Portugal including an appearance at the Ruhr Piano Festival.
In February of 2016 the Naughtons released their debut record on the Warner Classics label titled “Visions,” featuring the music of Messiaen, Bach and Adams. The album received much critical acclaim with The Washington Post hailing them as one of the “greatest piano duos of our time.”
Highlights from the Naughtons’ 2015-2016 season include performances presented by the New World Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Hall, at the Classic Festival and the Bonlieu Scène Nationale in Annecy, France, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and at the Grand Teton Music Festival. In addition to recital tours of Latin America and China, the sisters appear with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfonica do Estado Sao Paulo, the Netherlands Philharmonic, l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the Frankfurter Opern- and Museumsorchester and the Atlanta Symphony.
Previous orchestral engagements include appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Houston, Milwaukee, New Jersey, North Carolina, Nashville, Virginia, Hawaii, Maryland, Toledo, Delaware, El Paso, Napa Valley, Wichita, Tulsa, Gulf Coast, and Madison Symphonies; the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland’s Red Orchestra, Chicago’s Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra, and Erie Philharmonic; as well as with ensembles such as the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Royal Flemish Philharmonic in Belgium, Solistes Europeens Luxembourg, Hamburg Chorus, Kiel Philharmonic, and Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock. Past and future seasons feature collaborations under the batons of conductors such as Stephane Deneve, Edo deWaart, Charles Dutoit, JoAnn Falletta, Giancarlo Guerrero, Emanuel Krivine, Cristian Macelaru, Andres Orozco-Estrada, and Michael Stern.
Christina and Michelle’s recitals have included venues in America such as the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, New York City’s Naumburg Orchestral Concert Series at the Historic Naumberg Bandshell (Central Park) and Le Poisson Rouge, the Schubert Club in St. Paul, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Wharton Center, Houston’s Cullen Theater, South Orange Performing Arts Center, the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, Ramsey Hall in Athens, and Rockefeller University; as well as on series such as the Fortas Chamber Music Festival, Detroit Chamber Music Series, Harriman Jewell Series, Steinway Society-The Bay Area, Artist Series of Sarasota, UAB Piano Series, Chamber Music San Francisco Series, Louisville’s Speed Museum Series, Kingston Chamber Music Festival.
European recital highlights for the Naughtons include the Parc Du Chateau de Florans at France’s La Roque d’Antheron Festival, the Sociedad de Conciertos de Valencia in Spain, Zurich’s Tonhalle, Prague’s Strings of Autumn Festival, Klavierfestival Ruhr, Rheingau Musik Festival, Dresden’s Musikfestpiele, Kissinger Sommer, Berlin’s Kammermusiksaal, Munich’s Herkulesaal, Dusseldorf’s Tonhalle, in Hannover’s Kleiner Sendesaal, Ingoldstadt’s Konzertverein, Reutlingen’s Freidrich-List-Halle, Pullach’s Burgerhaus, Concert Series in Ludwigshafen, on the Homburg-Saar series, the Bremen Music Festival, Nohant Festival Chopin and Festival Berlioz La Cote de Saint Andre, Casa da Musica Porto, Fundacion Juan March, Auditoria Teluda Moraira and Enclave de Camera in Ourense, Spain.
Recital engagements in Asia and South America have included appearances at the Beijing Forbidden City Concert Hall, Shenzhen Concert Hall, Wuhan Qintai Concert Hall in China, Pallacio de las Bellas Artes, Biblioteca de Luis Angel and Sala Sao Paulo in Brazil.
The Naughtons recorded their first album in the Sendesaal in Bremen Germany; which was released worldwide in Fall 2012 by label ORFEO. The album has been praised by Der Spiegel Magazine for “stand(ing) out with unique harmony, and sing(ing) out with stylistic confidence’, and described by ClassicsToday as a “Dynamic Duo Debut”. Their performances have been broadcast on American Public Media’s Performance Today, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, New York’s WQXR, Chicago’s WFMT, Philadelphia’s WHYY, Boston’s WQED, Atlanta’s WABE, Hong Kong’s RTHK, Latvia’s Latvijas Radio 3, Netherland’s Radio 4 Concerthuis; and Germany’s Bayerischen Rudfunks, Nordwest-RadioBremen, WDR and NDR Radio.
Born in Princeton, New Jersey to parents of European and Chinese descent; Christina and Michelle are graduates of Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music, where they were each awarded the Festorazzi Prize. They are Steinway Artists and currently reside in New York City.