piano

Jeremy Enlow / Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition has been described as the Olympics for pianists. It's a grueling process to even make the cut. 

This year, nearly 300 pianists applied, 146 were selected for live screening auditions, and 30 were invited to Fort Worth, Texas, in May. And then the competition gets underway: 17 days, with four elimination rounds, and millions of people watching around the world

Ralph Lauer / The Cliburn

Recent claims from elected officials and investigations into Russian election meddling have some wondering about the security of their vote. Today, we find out what the Kansas City, Missouri, and Johnson County Kansas election boards are doing to protect electronic, paper and absentee ballots.

Courtesy Park University

UPDATE: This story was updated on Friday, June 9, to reflect Kenneth Broberg's advance to the final round of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Having advanced to the finals of the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Kansas City pianist Kenneth Broberg has one more concert to play before learning who will win the competition in Fort Worth, Texas.

Camille Brecht

A couple of years ago, musician Greg Wickham was on a walk with his wife when she asked what he thought was a strange question.

“‘If you were to die tomorrow, is there anything you haven’t done that you would regret?’” he recalled. “I told her the only thing that I would really regret is never having recorded a solo record.

“And it was kind of quiet for a second and she said, ‘Well, you need to get into the studio, then.’”

That conversation helped inspire Wickham’s first solo album, “If I Left This World.”

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Pianist Steven Spooner wanted to do something big to commemorate the careers of his favorite musicians. Spooner explains why he spent 19 months creating "Dedications," 16 albums-worth of music devoted to some of the great piano masters.

Then, on Earth Day people in more than 100 cities are taking to the streets to March For Science. The rally is a response to what organizers say is a political climate that threatens science's role in the country.

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com/

Mark Bedell faces a big challenge; leading Kansas City Public Schools back to full accreditation. Today, the superintendent talks about his first sixth months on the job, and his plans to improve grades and raise graduation rates. Then, jazz icon Ramsey Lewis explains how he's using his piano to commemorate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

More than a thousand of his musical works have been published, and they're performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall to your local church choir loft. We hear from Kansas City's own Mark Hayes, about his journey from playing the church piano as a teen, to becoming an internationally-known composer out of his home in KC. 

Guest:

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

Sixth-grader Miguel Gonzales sits at a grand piano at Eisenhower Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas. He’s in a large room reserved for special events.

Under a mop of auburn hair, Gonzales smiles shyly as he waits for his lesson to begin. His instructor Paul Adams (that’s Mr. Adams to Gonzales) soon shows up — on the screen of a laptop. Adams, a graduate student in piano at the University of Kansas, is about 35 miles away in a music studio on the Lawrence campus. 

Classical Piano Selections with Frank Byrne

Mar 4, 2016

Frank Byrne, executive director of the Kansas City Symphony, returns to Up to Date with his picks of recorded piano compositions.

Selections:

Pianos on Parade In Kansas City

May 28, 2015

This summer, painted pianos will be parading all around Kansas City.  On this edition of Up to Date, we look at the Pianos on Parade event and the organizations behind it.

Guests:

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Touring for any professional musician can be challenging. But for concert pianists, it’s also about adapting to a new instrument at every stop.

American pianist Garrick Ohlsson is a frequent soloist in Kansas City. The Friends of Chamber Music presented Ohlsson in concert in January.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

For six decades, classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz performed for concert audiences around the world. Horowitz died in 1989, but the Steinway grand piano that accompanied him on tour...is still touring North America.

Horowitz’s concert grand Steinway piano arrived Wednesday at the Schmitt Music Company in Overland Park, Kan. And through July 11, visitors will have a chance to play the instrument.

behzodabduraimov.com

One of Kansas City’s musical greats has just made another leap in his quest for international acclaim.

This coming weekend, Kansas Citians will have the chance to hear two internationally-known concert pianists. And they're traveling all the way from . . . Parkville.

Kansas City, MO – KCUR's Alex Smith has the story of how Park University has built a world-famous conservatory with the help of Uzbek-born pianist Stanislav Ioudenitch.