Celebrating Pianos! Pianos and Piano Music 1750–1850

Northampton, MA — Smith College Department of Music presents Celebrating Pianos! Pianos and Piano Music 1750–1850, a weekend festival of concerts, lectures and workshops devoted to historical pianos on October 15 and 16, 2022. Two magnificent examples of pianos of the time will be featured on the stage of Sweeney Concert Hall: an 1835 Joseph Simon piano made in Vienna, courtesy of Cornell Center for Historical Keyboards, and a replica of Viennese Anton Walter pianos, c. 1803, made by Paul McNulty in 2000, courtesy of Smith College Professor Emerita Monica Jakuc Leverett.

Curated by pianist Jiayan Sun, Assistant Professor of Music and Associate Chair for Performance Activities at Smith College Music Department, eminent guest artists and specialists in historical pianos and performance practice include Cornell Professor Emeritus Malcolm Bilson, Cornell Visiting Artist-Scholar in Residence Mike Cheng-Yu Lee, Juilliard and Mannes faculty member Audrey Axinn, Monica Jakuc Leverett, and fortepiano builder Richard Hester. Also presented are Smith faculty pianist Yang Liu and faculty soprano Katherine Saik.

The guest artists will present a series of lectures and talks on Saturday and Sunday afternoons starting at 2 p.m., addressing fascinating facets of historical pianos and performance practice focusing on the music of the classical and early romantic periods. The attendees will have ample time to interact with the artists and enjoy an opportunity to try their hands on the pianos. Sunday morning will be devoted to group sessions and workshops with the artists. The festival will culminate with two concerts. On Saturday at 7:30 p.m., music by Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, and Robert and Clara Schumann, will be performed on the 1835 Joseph Simon piano. On Sunday at 3 p.m., the artists will perform on the Anton Walter piano, presenting music by the Viennese masters: Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, in addition to Marianne Martinez, a pupil of Haydn’s.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information and a detailed schedule of the festival, please visit bit.ly/celebratingpianos.