Lily Pad's 2nd Annual PIANO Festival: two weekends celebrating Boston's piano culture

Lily Pad PIANO Festival: 2nd Annual. Two weekends: Nov.7-9 & Nov.14-16; Fri. (6pm-midnight), Sat. (1pm-midnight), Sun. (1pm-midnight). Donation: 2-weekend festival pass $50 / students $45; 1-weekend festival pass $30 / students $25; day pass $20 / $15 students; one set $10 / $5 students; free at all times for ages 14 and under. Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St., Inman Sq., Cambridge. For information log onto or call 617-395-1393. .

The Lily Pad’s2nd annual PIANO Festival, curated by resident piano man Gill Aharon, has now expanded into two full weekends. Celebrating Boston's piano culture and the Lily Pad’s key role in fostering and sustaining that culture, Aharon has put together an extensive line-up, which is still evolving as this announcement goes to press. The Lily Pad, hailed as Boston’s center for new music (defined as new composition rather than free improvisation), has excellent acoustics and Aharon's 7 ft. grand piano reigns over the space’s aural and visual landscape. The piano, though not always highlighted in the regular schedule, is ever present.

Officially declared as an annual showcase, the PIANO Festival will shine a 6-day spotlight on a wide variety of local piano talents and styles. Aharon presents the Lily Pad’s PIANO Festival as an opportunity to collaborate across genres. He also points out that he is providing an opportunity for pianists with "desperately different styles" to find their commonality while celebrating their differences.

Throughout the year, the Lily Pad showcases new composers. For the PIANO Festival, 90% of the pianists will be performing their own compositions. Aharon has structured the PIANO Festival to appeal to all different ages and tastes. This year most of the performances will be one hour in length. There will be many more groups playing rather than solo performances. Notably, there are two big bands performing, the Petros Sakelliou Big Band on 11/7 and the Ayn Inserto Big Band on 11/9.

As of this writing, the other extremes and in-betweens will be covered by such local piano luminaries as Assaf Shati, Josh Rosen, Anthony Coleman, Joe Raciti, Pandelis Karayorgis, Brian Friedland, Daniela Schaechter, Doug Johnson, Carmen Staaf, Futaba Niekawa, Gabriel Guerrero, Marti Epstein, Leo Genovese, David Maxwell, Malcolm Campbell, Nando Michelin, Joe Della Penna, Elan Mehler, Lou Black, Tim Ray, Yoko Miwa, Bob Toabe, Taylor Galassi, Michael Holt, Ben Stepner, and many many more.

The current schedule for the entire festival is available at The site will be updated continuously, so keep checking.

In addition, the entire event will be “documented” by painter Spuridoula Zahou, who recently moved to Cambridge from Greece. Her efforts will result in an exhibition of her work at the Lily Pad in January 2009. Stay tuned.

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