Skip to main content

Bienen School Hosts Inaugural Piano Artist Concert Series

Series features Ursula Oppens, Stephen Hough, Garrick Ohlsson, James Giles, Alan Chow
  • Piano series takes advantage of new recital venue’s acoustics and Chicago skyline views
  • Inaugural season promises an array of virtuosity in a preeminent performance space
  • Series features world-renowned artists as well as emerging artists of great significance

EVANSTON, Ill. --- World-renowned artists Ursula Oppens, Stephen Hough, Garrick Ohlsson, James Giles and the Cheng-Chow Trio, and important emerging artist Andrew Tyson are the key players in Northwestern University’s inaugural “Skyline Piano Artist Series,” premiering in mid-November.

Hosted by the University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, all Skyline Piano Artist Series events will be held on the Evanston campus at the new Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts, the Bienen School’s new home.

The inaugural season promises an array of virtuosity in one of Chicago’s preeminent performance spaces. This exciting new series takes full advantage of the state-of-the-art acoustics and breathtaking Chicago skyline views in the Bienen School’s new premier recital venue, the Ryan Center’s Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall, 70 Arts Circle Drive.

Single ticket prices for each recital are $30 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.

Skyline Piano Artist Series subscriptions are still available. Series subscribers can save up to 30 percent off single-ticket prices.

Inaugural Skyline Piano Artist Series recitals

  • Ursula Oppens, a four-time Grammy Award nominee and former Bienen School faculty member, who will perform with Jerome Lowenthal, will launch the Skyline Series at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14. Oppens has performed with many major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She also has appeared with the Cassatt, JACK, Juilliard and Pacifica quartets. Her program features music from her new Cedille Records release, including a performance of Frederic Rzewski’s new work “Four Hands” with Lowenthal, as well as Elliott Carter’s “Night Fantasies” (Oppens gave its North American premiere at Northwestern) and Rzewski’s “The People United Will Never Be Defeated.” 
  • Stephen Hough, an eight-time Gramophone Award recipient, will perform his own Sonata III, “Trinitas” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3. His program will include Schubert’s Sonata in A Minor; Franck’s “Prelude, Chorale and “Fugue”; and Liszt’s “Valses oubliees” Nos. 1 and 2 and “Transcendental Etudes” Nos. 10 and 11. Hough also is the recipient of four Grammy nominations, a 2001 MacArthur Fellowship and the Bienen School’s 2008 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance.
  • Garrick Ohlsson, winner of the Bienen School’s 2014 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29. His recital will feature music inspired by paintings, including Granados’ “Goyescas” and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.” Ohlsson also is the recipient of the 1998 University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award and a 2008 Grammy Award.
  • James Giles, associate professor of piano, will celebrate the romantic era at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, with a performance of works by Schubert and Rachmaninoff, as well as Liszt’s Sonata. Giles regularly performs in top international music centers and has given acclaimed recitals at New York’s Alice Tully Hall, Paris’ Salle Cortot, London’s Purcell Room, Warsaw’s Chopin Academy and London’s Wigmore Hall. Giles is coordinator of the Bienen School’s piano program.
  • Andrew Tyson will perform music of Mozart, Chopin and Scriabin, as well as Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 6. Winner of Switzerland’s 2015 Geza Anda Competition and a 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Tyson has performed throughout the United States and Europe at many prestigious venues, including the Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. 
  • The Cheng-Chow Trio will present a program of music for four to six hands at one or two pianos at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 15. Comprised of Bienen School faculty member Alan Chow and Oberlin Conservatory faculty members Angela Cheng and Alvin Chow, all three multi-international competition-winning pianists perform worldwide as recital and concerto soloists. 

For more information, call the Bienen School of Music Concert Management Office at 847-491-5441 or visit To order tickets, call the Bienen School of Music Ticket Office at 847-467-4000 or visit the website.