One piano. Two composers. Three rounds. Young audiences listen, debate and vote on a showdown between two iconic musicians.
In his family-focused Classical Smackdown program, pianist Frederic Chiu pits two masters of classical composition against each other, leading us in an educational, inspiring and interactive game, focusing on Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach and 20th-century composer Philip Glass.
Each program includes illuminating commentary drawing out the contrasts and the similarities of the composers’ works as well as jaw-dropping playing. Following each round, kids get to discuss the differences between each composer. They vote on their favorite, select a winner and leave with a deeper understanding of two musical heroes.
With a vibrant concert schedule, a legacy of 30 CDs and a stream of accolades from around the globe, pianist Frederic Chiu occupies a special place in the world of classical music. His non-traditional approach including interdisciplinary collaborations, integration of new technologies and emphasis on audience engagement distinguish Chiu as an innovator and boundary-breaking 21st-century artist.