It's Pierre Van Der Westhuizen's favorite part of the job: to identify and provide a platform for new artists to establish themselves, and for established masters to share their exceptional talent with west Michigan audiences. Together with WMUK's Cara Lieurance, Van Der Westhuizen previews the 2020/21 season of the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, highlighting the artists' personal stories and achievements.
First up is the Rising Stars Series. The 5 classical artists and 2 jazz performers on the season have many points of intersection - they are American, and frequently find themselves side-by-side with each other as top award-winners in major competitions.
For the Piano Masters series, French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Israeli-American pianist Yefim Bronfman will bring their contrasting sensibilities to major works of Beethoven in their recitals. Both will play the famous "Appassionata" sonata on their programs.
Jazz pianists Aaron Diehl and Emmet Cohen are also very different performers. Both will bring skill and originality to their live Jazz Club concerts - something audiences in Kalamazoo have had opportunities to witness in Cohen and Diehl's previous visits to the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, as well as the Fontana series.