A&E: 25 pianists gearing up for UM Pianissimo! concert

By Lucy Beighle

The University of Montana School of Music presents the ninth annual Pianissimo! concerts on October 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall. This high-energy show includes two different programs, nine pianos and more than 25 pianists.

The concerts feature piano solos, duets, trios, quartets, and at one point 10 pianists performing on five different pianos. School of Music faculty member, Christopher Hahn describes Pianissimo! as a Missoula original.

“It has achieved its popularity with good reason,” he says. “It’s a fun-filled, high-energy evening of music that crosses all genres and involves multiple pianos played by 25 pianists. We definitely go all out on this one. It’s basically a variety show that features the incredible diversity of the piano and its performers.”

The pair of concerts features piano solos, duets, trios, quartets, and as many as 16 pianists performing on eight different pianos. “It’s quite a sound. The coordination of such a feat is pretty tremendous—you really have to see and hear it to believe it,” says Hahn.

Included in the concerts will be a wide variety of music and styles ranging from Mozart and Stravinsky to Copland and Coldplay, as well as other popular hits.

“The program is designed to please any and all audience members,” he says. The pianists include students, faculty members and familiar faces from the community. “Let’s just say I always like a few surprises and you might see a local politician or two in the mix.”

Pianissimo! is a benefit concert for the UM Keyboard Society, and is the first concert in the Celebrate Piano series. Funds raised will bring in guest artists for the Celebrate Piano series, help piano students receive scholarships and attend conferences, and help with maintenance and care of the pianos at the University of Montana.

For more information on Pianissimo! or any of the five concerts in the Celebrate Piano series, contact Christopher Hahn at UM School of Music at 406-243-6490. Tickets can be purchased online at Griztix.com, at the UM Arts Box Office or by calling 406-243-4581. Purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended, as shows tend to sell out