The Gilmore presents guest artists including Herbie Hancock, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Maria João Pires, and Renée Fleming with Evgeny Kissin and recitals by six rising young artists.

Left to right: Herbie Hancock, Maria Schneider, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Maria João Pires, Renée Fleming, & Evgeny Kissin

KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN (August 19, 2022) — Executive and Artistic Director Pierre van der Westhuizen today announced The Gilmore’s 2022–23 concert season that features six world-renowned artists and six rising stars. The season includes pianist Evgeny Kissin with soprano Renée Fleming; Herbie Hancock and his band; French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, pianist and thought leader Maria João Pires; and composer/conductor Maria Schneider, who will bring her orchestra to Kalamazoo to present The Gilmore’s inaugural Jazz Piano Masters concert. The season is rounded out by six emerging classical and jazz pianists from Canada, Germany, Russia and the U.S. Donors of $100 or more can purchase tickets today; the public sale opens on August 29. 

Van der Westhuizen said:

”We’re so grateful to be able to announce a robust season of jazz and classical programs, in part due to some 2020 and 2022 Festival artists we are able to (finally!) present, as well as new artists thanks to support from the John Stites Jazz Artist Organization. We are proud to bring to Kalamazoo internationally renowned masters alongside today’s rising stars, and hope you will join us as we continue our mission of nurturing and celebrating a passion for the piano.”


The Gilmore’s 2022-23 season begins with legendary pianist, composer, and bandleader Herbie Hancock performing on Friday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Chenery Auditorium in a concert rescheduled from the spring 2022 Gilmore Festival. A multiple Grammy Award-winner, Hancock was a member of the Miles Davis Quintet in the 1960s, and has explored and mastered nearly every popular music movement since then – funk, rock, jazz fusion, electronic dance, and beyond – with innovative experimentations that continue to influence contemporary music. Many of his compositions, including “Cantaloupe Island,” “Maiden Voyage,” “Watermelon Man” and “Chameleon,” are modern standards. Hancock will be joined on stage by Terence Blanchard (trumpet), James Genus (bass), Lionel Loueke (guitar), and Juston Tyson (drums). His program will be announced from the stage. 

Celebrated pianist Maria João Pires will perform Sunday, May 21 at 4:00 p.m. ET at Dalton Center Recital Hall on the campus of Western Michigan University. Additionally, The Gilmore will present her collaborative, interdisciplinary Partitura Workshop in its first-ever engagement in the United States. A piano master admired for her interpretations of Bach, Chopin, Schubert and Mozart, Pires is known for her lightness of touch and vital imagination. She has devoted herself to expressing the influence of art in life, community, and education. Reflecting on this philosophy, she has said, “We have a responsibility to lead our life in the best possible way, to help others and to share this planet with compassion. Music and art are the deepest expressions of our soul and the direct transmission of our universe. I think everyone is born an artist and art should be shared with all people on this planet.”

Pires launched the Partitura Project in 2014 in reaction to the hyper-competitiveness of today’s classical music world, to promote cooperation and social engagement among pianists through daily group sessions, public recitals, and community concerts. These activities—grouped together into a multi-day workshop—not only encompass in-depth musical work, but also encourage interaction between participants and the public, offering an alternative to the traditional master class experience. She will conclude her nine-day workshop for pianists with a solo and joint performance with her students. (Program and participants will be announced from the stage.)


The Gilmore’s 2022-23 Piano Masters Series presents lauded American composer and bandleader Maria Schneider with the Maria Schneider Orchestra Sunday, March 12, 2023, 4:00 p.m. ET at Chenery Auditorium. Schneider is among a small few to receive Grammy Awards in both jazz and classical music, and for her work with David Bowie. Her 2020 double-album, “Data Lords” was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, won two Grammys, and was named Jazz Album of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association and National Public Radio. Her music has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, imaginative, revelatory, riveting, daring, and beyond categorization.” 

In 1994, Schneider began writing for the Maria Schneider Orchestra, her 18-member collective of some of the finest musicians in jazz today, which has performed at festivals and concert halls worldwide.This performance will be The Gilmore’s first Jazz Piano Masters presentation, reflecting an expansion of its jazz programming with the support of the John Stites Jazz Awards.

One of today’s finest pianists, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, will perform Debussy’s complete Préludes, Books I and II, on Thursday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Chenery Auditorium, preceded by a concert preview at 6:30 p.m. For more than 30 years, Thibaudet has performed worldwide and recorded more than 50 albums. From the start of his career, he has performed and recorded music beyond the standard repertoire, from jazz to opera. His professional friendships crisscross the globe and have led to collaborations in film, visual art, and fashion. Thibaudet’s lifelong passion for education and fostering young talent is well served as the first-ever artist in residence at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, where he makes his home. Thibaudet’s recording catalog  has received two Grammy nominations and numerous international  awards. He can be heard in films including “The French Dispatch,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” “Wakefield,” and “Atonement.” He was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2010, and awarded the title Officier by the French Ministry of Culture in 2012. 

The Piano Masters series concludes with a recital by legendary soprano Renée Fleming with her longtime friend and collaborator, pianist Evgeny Kissin, on Sunday, May 27 at 8:00 p.m. ET at Chenery Auditorium. A concert preview at 7:00 p.m. will precede the performance. 

Among the most acclaimed singers of our time, Renée Fleming has captivated audiences with a repertoire spanning opera and the classical tradition to jazz and contemporary pop. She has sung for world leaders on occasions as varied as the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and the Diamond Jubilee for Queen Elizabeth II. She was recognized by President Barack Obama in 2012 with the National Medal of Arts. Other awards include four Grammys, a Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, and France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. In November 2022, Fleming will star in the Metropolitan Opera’s world-premiere staging of “The Hours,” based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Michael Cunningham. 

Evgeny Kissin is among the most gifted classical pianists of his generation, in demand by many of the world’s great conductors and orchestras. During the 2021-22 season, he performed the music of Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin throughout Europe and Asia. Musical awards and tributes include the Edison Klassiek in The Netherlands, and the Diapason d’Or and the Grand Prix of La Nouvelle Academie du Disque in France. His recordings have won him two Grammys for Best Instrumental Soloist. Kissin’s talent inspired Christopher Nupen’s documentary film, “Evgeny Kissin: The Gift of Music,” and his autobiography, “Memoirs and Reflections,” was published in 2018.


The Gilmore’s 2022–23 Rising Stars Series features emerging classical and jazz pianists in recital at Wellspring Theater. All Rising Stars concerts will be livestreamed.

From left: Tony Siqi Yun, Alexander Malofeev, Victor Gould, Danae Dörken, Connie Han, Clayton Stephenson

The Gilmore Rising Stars series begins with Tony Siqi Yun on Sunday, September 25 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Born in Toronto, Canada, Yun studies piano and composition at the Juilliard School Pre-College Division, where he is a recipient of the Jerome L. Greene Fellowship. In 2018, Yun collaborated with the Cleveland Orchestra at the final round of the Thomas and Evon Cooper International Piano Competition, winning First Prize and the Audience Prize. In 2019, Yun collaborated with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the final round of the First China International Music Competition. 

Alexander Malofeev performs on Sunday, October 9 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Born in Moscow, Malofeev came to prominence when he won the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in 2014 at age 13. In 2020, Sony Classical released the Tchaikovsky 2020 box set celebrating the 180th anniversary of Tchaikovsky that included the First Concerto played by Malofeev. Recent and upcoming performances include the Boston Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, La Scala Orchestra, Lucerne Festival Orchestra, New World Symphony, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Philharmonie de Paris, Prague Philharmonia, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, and Tonhalle in Zürich. 

Grammy-nominated pianist and composer Victor Gould and the Victor Gould Trio perform on Sunday, October 23 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Gould began playing piano at the age of four and joined the alto saxophonist Donald Harrison’s band at age 17. Hailed by DownBeat magazine as “a new and important compositional voice,” Gould has toured worldwide, performing at the Detroit, Newport, North Sea, Monterey, and Umbria jazz festivals. As a member of the Black Art Jazz Collective, Gould composed the title track from the sextet’s 2020 HighNote release “Ascension.” 

German-Greek pianist Danae Dörken takes the stage on Sunday, November 13 at 4:00 p.m ET. Dörken received the support of Lord Yehudi Menuhin when she was only seven years old and soon began to cause a stir at major European venues. A guest of major orchestras around the world, Dörken’s discography includes 2019 releases “East and West” and “Between Nostalgia and Revolution”; a 2016 recording of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 and Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Royal Northern Sinfonia; and a solo recording of fantasies by Schumann, Schubert, and C.P.E. Bach on ARS Produktion. Dörken founded the Molyvos International Music Festival in 2015 with her sister to contribute to strengthening the connections with classical music in Greece.

Jazz phenom Connie Han will perform with her trio on Sunday, December 11 at 4:00 p.m. ET. A pianist, composer, and Steinway Artist, Han became interested in jazz when attending Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, where she met her mentor and now colleague, drummer Bill Wysaske. Her 2018 release “Crime Zone” includes compositions by both Han and Wysaske. Of her 2020 album “Iron Starlet,” DownBeat said Han has “…firmly established herself as a talent to watch – and listen to.” Han’s fourth album, “Secrets of Inanna” drops in September 2022.

2022 Gilmore Young Artist Clayton Stephenson will cap the Rising Stars Series with a recital on Sunday, February 5 at 4:00 p.m. ET. A native of Brooklyn, Stephenson wowed audiences at the 2022 Gilmore Piano Festival with his exuberant style. Soon after, he competed at the prestigious Cliburn Competition and was the only American to advance to the final round. Stephenson trained for two years in the Juilliard Music Advancement Program before beginning the Juilliard Pre-College program at age ten. From 2014-16, he was a Lang Lang International Music Foundation Young Scholar. In 2017, he was named a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and in 2020, Stephenson was named a Gheens Young Artist. He is pursuing and expects to finish in 2023 a dual degree program in economics from Harvard and piano performance from the New England Conservatory.


Created in 1989 to honor the legacy of Irving S. Gilmore, the organization is known for its biennial Gilmore Piano Festival, a three-week celebration of piano music; the classical Gilmore Awards and Larry J. Bell Jazz Awards, a regular series of awards presented to deserving pianists based on a non-competitive process; and commissioning of composers to create new works for the piano. Since 1989, 15 biennial Festivals have been enjoyed by thousands of visitors to west Michigan. Eight Gilmore Artists and 38 Gilmore Young Artists have been recognized, and 38 new works have been created for the piano. 

Two distinctive concert series—Piano Masters and Rising Stars—ensure that world-class piano music is presented continually. In addition, a major program dedicated to community engagement and music education serves thousands of area children and adults by offering neighborhood concerts, piano lessons in elementary schools, music therapy, group lessons for adults, toddler-friendly concert experiences, summer piano camp, master classes, and much more. For more information, visit


Friday, September 23, 2022 · 7:30 PM
Chenery Auditorium

Herbie Hancock, piano
Terence Blanchard, trumpet
James Genus, bass
Lionel Loueke, guitar
Justin Tyson, drums

Program announced from the stage.

Sunday, September 25, 2022 · 4 PM
Wellspring Theater, Epic Center

J. S. BACH—F. BUSONI  Chorale Prelude, Herr Gott, nun schleuß den Himmel auf, BWV 617 (Lord God, now unfurl the heavens)
F. LISZT   Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude from Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, S. 173 (The Blessing of God in Solitude, from  Poetic and Religious Harmonies)
L.v. BEETHOVEN  Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53 (“Waldstein”)
L. BERIO  Wasserklavier from Six Encores
J. BRAHMS  Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 5

Sunday, October 9, 2022 · 4 PM
Wellspring Theater, Epic Center

L.v. BEETHOVEN  Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2 (“Moonlight”)
Sonata No. 17  in D Minor, Op. 31, No. 2 (“Tempest”)
N. MEDTNER  Sonata in G Minor, Op. 22
S. RACHMANINOFF  Études-Tableaux, Op. 33

Sunday, October 23, 2022 · 4 PM
Wellspring Theater, Epic Center

Victor Gould, piano | Tamir Shmerling, bass | EJ Strickland, drums

Program announced from the stage.

Sunday, November 13, 2022 · 4 PM
Wellspring Theater, Epic Center

FAZIL SAY  Black Earth (Kara Toprak), Op. 8
C. DEBUSSY/arr. G. SAMAZEUILH  Sirènes from Trois Nocturnes, L. 91 
F. SCHUBERT/arr. F. LISZT S. 565  Das Wandern, from Die schöne Müllerin, D. 795  (“Wandering”)
F. MENDELSSOHN  Fantasia (Sonate écossaise), Op. 28 (Fantasy, Scottish Sonata)  
KINAN AZMEH  Waiting for Friday
M. HATZIDAKIS  Waltz of Lost Dreams
R. SCHUMANN  Fantasiestücke, Op. 12 (Fantasy Pieces)

Sunday, December 11, 2022 · 4 PM
Wellspring Theater, Epic Center

Connie Han, piano | Ryan Berg, bass | Bill Wysaske, drums

Program announced from the stage.

CLAYTON STEPHENSON, 2022 Gilmore Young Artist
Sunday, February 5, 2023 · 4 PM
Wellspring Theater, Epic Center

J. S. BACH /arr. EGON PETRI  “Sheep May Safely Graze,” from Cantata No. 9, Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd,  BWV 208 (The only thing that pleases me is the lively hunt.)
F. CHOPIN  Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58
F. LISZT  Rhapsodie espagnole,  S. 254
A. TATUM  Tea for Two 
G. GERSHWIN  Rhapsody in Blue

Sunday, March 12, 2023 · 4 PM
Chenery Auditorium, Kalamazoo

Maria Schneider, composer/conductor
Gary Versace, piano
Steve Wilson, Dave Pietro, Rich Perry, Donny McCaslin, Scott Robinson, reeds
Tony Kadleck, Greg Gisbert, Nadje Noordhuis, Mike Rodriguez, trumpets
Keith O’Quinn, Ryan Keberle, Marshall Gilkes, trombones
George Flynn, bass trombone
Julien Labro, accordion
Ben Monder, guitar
Jay Anderson, bass
Johnathan Blake, drums

Program announced from the stage.

Thursday, March 30, 2023 · 7:30 PM
Concert Preview · 6:30 PM
Chenery Auditorium, Kalamazoo

C. DEBUSSY  Prèludes, Book I and II

Pre-concert talk by Kalamazoo College’s Beau Bothwell at 6:30 p.m.

MARIA JOÃO PIRES & Partitura Pianists
Sunday, May 21, 2023 · 8 PM
Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, Kalamazoo

Program announced from the stage.

Saturday, May 27, 2023 · 8 PM
Chenery Auditorium, Kalamazoo

Renée Fleming, sopano
Evgeny Kissin, piano

F. SCHUBERT  Die Vögel, D. 961
Suleika 1, Op. 14, No. 1, D. 720
Lied der Mignon: Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt, Op. 62, No. 1b, D. 877
Rastlose Liebe, Op. 5, No. 1, D. 138
F. LISZT   Sposalizio, from Années de pèlerinage; Book II, No. 1
Valse Oubliée, S. 215 (Forgotten Waltz)
Freudvoll und Leidvoll, S. 280/1
Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh, S. 306/2
Mignons Lied: Kennst du das Land, S. 275/2
Im Rhein, im schönen Strome, S. 272/1
S. RACHMANINOFF  Siren’ (Lilacs), Op. 21, No. 5
Son (A Dream), Op. 38, No. 5
Mi otdokhnyom (Let Us Rest), Op. 26, No. 3
Mélodie and Sérénade from Morceaux de fantasie, Op. 3, Nos. 3 and 5
F. LISZT   S’il est un charmant gazon, S. 284/1
H. DUPARC  Extase
Le manoir de Rosemonde

Pre-concert talk by Kalamazoo College’s Zaide Pixley at 7 p.m.