Our vision is to connect our community to the richness and beauty of classical piano music and inspire all ages through world-class performances and informative discussions.
We are committed to preserve and present great keyboard literature featuring artists of the highest caliber, and to enrich our community through active outreach offering free performances to underserved populations, student programs, masterclasses, and lectures.
We encourage artists to present well-known compositions along with rarely performed repertoire to promote a deeper audience understanding and appreciation of threatened literature.
PRESERVE & PRESENT
There is a real threat that musical literature that is not performed will fade from view and ultimately be lost. Keyboard literature has a long history and provides a record of musical evolution throughout Western culture from 1360. With such a long history, the volume of classical piano music is vast. Some of this literature is still held privately, and the occurrence of multiple European and World wars resulted in the fragmentation of several music collections. Occasionally lost compositions surface as ongoing research uncovers old collections or individual works.
Many of these pieces have never been heard by anyone living today. In addition, the volume of literature is so large that many pieces in the known literature have never been recorded and are rarely performed. Without an active effort to preserve and perform these compositions, many will simply be lost. The preservation of fine piano literature in such danger is a driving force behind the Grand Piano Series.
In addition to presenting familiar works for audience enjoyment, we include outstanding compositions that are rarely (if ever) performed to broaden our audience’s appreciation and bring life to dormant compositions. To enhance audience appreciation and understanding, informative introductions addressing these pieces are typically incorporated into our performances.
We have developed a classification system for piano literature patterned after the International System for the Conservation Status of Plant and Animal Species. This classification helps us communicate the status of each piece performed in our concerts in terms of the rarity of performance and the potential threat to extinction from the piano repertoire. The risk of a musical composition fading from the repertoire through lack of performance is a threat we are determined to address!
FREE CONCERTS AND MASTERCLASSES
Another aspect of our community and student engagement program is our free concerts for all students, and free masterclasses open to students and members of the general public. Students of all ages are given free admission to all of our regularly scheduled concert performances to expand their exposure to classical music. Beyond this invitation to all students, we specifically invited at-risk youths and staff from various non-profit organizations to attend our concert without charge during our 2019/2020 season.
In addition to free student concert admission, we conduct free piano masterclasses in connection with our performances by international professional artists. These masterclasses feature performance and critical instruction to selected advanced piano students (recently including students from Florida Gulf Coast University and LYNN University). Such masterclasses are a traditional vehicle for the transfer of advanced techniques and nuanced performance skills from one generation of performers to the next. We invite everyone in our community to observe these masterclasses without charge and share in the richness of the creative process by observing how the “masters” of the art share their knowledge with the younger generation of performers. By opening this process to the public, we hope to deepen our community’s appreciation of classical piano music and inspire students to strive for excellence through attention to detail in all they do.
Community engagement is a core component of our vision. Beyond performances for audiences already familiar with classical music, we actively seek and encourage the participation of a broader audience.
In the past year, this effort involved free performances at several youth programs and at the Avow Hospice Facility. In addition to bringing our music and informative discussions directly to these groups, we routinely offer free concert admission to residents of senior centers (most recently including the Naples Senior Center), students, and employees of non-profit organizations serving our older population and at-risk youth.
We believe this inclusive and welcoming approach strengthens our community through a broader appreciation of our shared cultural heritage.
We are committed to supporting young performing musicians by providing performance opportunities. Most recently we teamed with the Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles, California for the Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas project. As part of this collaboration, we included concert performances by nine Colburn students in our most recent season (2019-2020). We also maintain an active affiliation with the Juilliard and Curtis Schools and have featured several of their students in prior concert seasons. These concert appearances and our incorporation of performing artists’ participation in our community and student engagement programs are important parts of young artists’ professional development, helping them build an appreciation of the societal contribution of their musical performances while they build their professional resume.