The classical music world is gearing up to celebrate Frederic Chopin's 200th birthday on March 1st, and one of the most ambitious tributes in the world will be happening for free in downtown Manhattan.
arts>World Financial Center will join the global celebration of the life and music of Chopin with 200 hours of free piano performances by such top virtuosos as Christopher O'Riley, Claire Huangci, Vassily Primakov, and the winner of next month's 8th National Chopin Piano Competition in Miami.
arts>World Financial Center is New York City's largest year-round showcase for free visual and performing arts.
From Monday, March 1st through Friday, March 5th, live performances of the Romantic classical composer's work will echo throughout the World Financial Center all day long, originating from four concert pianos placed at various locations on the building's street and lobby levels.
Each evening at 7:00 pm, the venue's Winter Garden main stage will host a free solo concert by a roster of classical piano virtuosos, including Claire Huangci, winner of the Chopin Competition of Europe (March 1); TBD (March 2); NPR's "From the Top" host Christopher O'Riley (March 3); Vassily Primakov (March 4); and the winner of next month's 8th National Chopin Piano Competition in Miami, the only major music competition open exclusively to American pianists (March 5).
Each morning from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, all four pianos will be available to any amateur pianist eager to sit down and show off their Chopin chops to the public. From 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm (except Winter Garden piano, 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm), a tag team of some of the world's top concert pianists, up-and- coming performers, and students in leading conservatories and training programs will take over.
"Chopin's great talent lay in his ability to compose music that was both technically demanding yet accessible to a wide audience," said Debra Simon, Artistic Director of arts>World Financial Center. "We're thrilled to celebrate his bicentennial with a spectacular event that, much like his work and our own programming, is simultaneously stimulating, inspiring, and irresistibly appealing."
The event is produced by veteran broadcaster and music producer Jim Luce, who has produced the Caramoor Jazz Festival for the last 17 years, and produced major jazz documentaries for PRI, The WFMT Radio Network and NPR, including the definitive Peabody Award-winning series on Miles Davis in 2001.