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Bienen School’s Skyline Piano Artist Series opens with Richard Goode

Bienen School of Music’s piano faculty, José Ramón Méndez closes the Skyline Piano Artist series May 1, 2020
Bienen School of Music’s piano faculty, José Ramón Méndez closes the Skyline Piano Artist series May 1, 2020

EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music opens its fifth annual Skyline Piano Artist Series Oct. 18 with a sold-out performance by Grammy Award-winning pianist Richard Goode.

Winter concerts for the 2019-20 season showcase Awadagin Pratt, winner of the 1992 Naumburg International Piano Competition, on Jan. 25, 2020; Nikolai Lugansky, Diapason d’Or recipient, on Feb. 8, 2020; and Philippe Bianconi, silver medalist in the Seventh Van Cliburn International Competition, on March 6, 2020. 

Spring concerts include internationally renowned pianist Andreas Haefliger on April 3, 2020 and Bienen School of Music faculty member José Ramón Méndez on May 1, 2020.

This series is named for its famous view of the Chicago skyline from the Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall in the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts, 70 Arts Circle Drive on the Evanston campus. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m.

Performances are as follows: 

Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

Winner of the Bienen School’s inaugural Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance, Grammy Award-winning pianist Goode also is the recipient of the Young Concert Artists Award, first prize in the Clara Haskil Competition and the Avery Fisher Prize. Recognized worldwide as one of today’s leading interpreters of Classical and Romantic music, Goode performs a variety of musical styles, from that of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Partita No. 5 in G Major to the early-20th century works of Claude Debussy and Leoš Janáček. Goode’s program also features four of Chopin’s Mazurkas, based on traditional Polish dance. 

Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, 7:30 p.m.

Winner of the 1992 Naumburg International Piano Competition and recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, Pratt has given numerous recitals and orchestral appearances throughout the U.S. and has toured in Europe, Israel and South Africa. Known for his musical insight and intensely involving performances, Pratt will play Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 31 and Liszt’s landmark Piano Sonata in B Minor. The program also includes music by César Franck. 

Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, 7:30 p.m.

A recipient of the Diapason d’Or, Lugansky regularly appears at distinguished festivals, and his 2018-19 season included performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris and the Russian National Orchestra. Lugansky performs three of Beethoven’s middle and late period sonatas, defined by radical divergence from Classical period conventions and moving toward more emotional and fantastical themes. Lugansky also performs music by Franck. 

Friday, March 6, 7:30 p.m.

A silver medalist in the Seventh Van Cliburn International Competition, Bianconi has appeared with the orchestras of Cleveland, Los Angeles, Montreal and Chicago. In 2012, his recording of Debussy’s Preludes received the Diapason d’Or de l’Année. Bianconi’s program includes Schumann’s “Carnaval,” inspired by the masked revelers during Europe’s Carnival. The program also contains five Debussy preludes and four by Messiaen, influenced by Debussy. Selections by Brahms andSaint-Saëns are included.

Friday, April 3, 2020,7:30 p.m.

Haefliger has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, the Chicago and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, the London Symphony and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Haefliger opens with Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 29 (“Hammerklavier”), often considered the composer’s most difficult solo piano work. The program also showcases Mussorgsky’s suite “Pictures at an Exhibition,” inspired by the paintings of Viktor Hartmann. 

Friday, May 1, 2020, 7:30 p.m.

A member of the Bienen School of Music’s piano faculty, Méndez gained international recognition through his performance of Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. He has toured across the U.S., Europe and Asia, recently performing Chopin’s first piano concerto with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra and de Falla’s “Nights in the Gardens of Spain”with the Nittany Valley Symphony. 

Single tickets are $30 for the general public and $10 for students with a valid ID, and are available online at, by phone at 847-467-4000 or by visiting the box office located in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive. Skyline Piano Artist Series subscriptions are sold out, but individual tickets are still available.

The Bienen School of Music is a member of the Northwestern Arts Circle, which brings together film, humanities, literary arts, music, theater, dance and visual arts.

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