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Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

After a successful festival, The Gilmore begins a new season of world-class music

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Courtesy of the Gilmore Piano Festival
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Artists on the 2022-23 season of the Gilmore Piano Festival

The Gilmore Piano Festival presented around 100 concerts in 3 weeks in the spring of 2022, with live, in-person concerts in Kalamazoo and across West Michigan. Pierre van der Westhuizen had had to wait four years to present his first in-person festival as the new executive director, and although Covid-19 added some unpredictability to the undertaking, he was elated with the success of the festival. Now, he’s filled the festival’s “off year” with 12 concerts featuring legendary masters and stars on the rise.

Van der Westhuizen joins Cara Lieurance to highlight the artists coming to Kalamazoo, beginning with jazz great Herbie Hancock, who will perform at 7:30 pm on Friday, Sept 23 at Chenery Auditorium.

The Rising Stars series features young classical and jazz talents from the U.S., Greece, China, and Russia, including festival favorite and 2022 Gilmore Young Artist Clayton Stephenson. He reached the final rounds at the Van Cliburn Competition this summer, says Van der Westhuizen.

Jean-Yves Thibaudet’s program is a rare chance to hear a top French artist perform Debussy, according to Van der Westhuizen. He’s thrilled to bring a full jazz orchestra led by Maria Schneider to Chenery Auditorium, and to be able to reschedule soprano Renee Fleming and Evgeny Kissin’s recital of songs and solo piano, originally set for 2020. And for fans of Portuguese pianist Maria Joao Pires, a “pianist’s pianist,” The Gilmore will feature her and her students in a rare appearance.

For full details, click the image below.

Cara Lieurance covers local music with live morning interviews, and produces WMUK's Let's Hear It weekday mornings at 10 am Mon-Fri, showcasing local interviews and performances. She also produces The Pure Drop, an hour of Celtic music, with musician Dave Marlatt.
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