Spring 2023


Spring Semester 2023 at the CCHK is packed full of events presenting our performance, teaching, and research on Cornell’s remarkable collection of keyboard instruments. From full length concerts and organ recitals to shorter lunchtime offerings and early evening salons, from early pianos to the Aeolian-Skinner organ, with faculty, students, and distinguished guest artists, our work runs the gamut of keyboard history and culture.

Highlights this term include guest recitals by concert organists Anne Laver (Anabel Taylor Chapel, February 3), whose program includes a new work by Syracuse-based composer Natalie Draper and Kola Owolabi (Sage Chapel, March 24), who brings to the Aeolian-Skinner organ the music of Franck and Vierne, as well as Calvin Hampton and Rachel Laurin. In February, CCHK Artist-in-Residence Mike Cheng-Yu Lee will give an all-Chopin recital on Cornell’s original Pleyel pianos in Barnes Hall (February 10); during an April residency (April 20–22), the legendary American pianist Gilbert Kalish will perform Charles Ives’s rarely heard First Piano Sonata and Otherworldly Resonances by George Crumb (d. 2022), who wrote much of his piano music for Kalish; and in May we will host a Chopin Mini-Academy (May 12–14) in collaboration with the Chopin Institute in Warsaw, that offers a weekend of masterclasses for visiting young artists, given by leading pianists and scholars from the US and Europe and featuring our superb 19th-century French pianos.

And to begin the semester, we welcome guest fortepianist Sezi Seskir and cellist Keiran Campbell for an intimate salon performance of the two cello sonatas written by Beethoven during his stay in Berlin in 1796 (January 27).

Spring 2023 promises to be a busy and rich semester. You are warmly invited to join us for any of these events, all of which are free and open to the public.

The Salon Project


Nicholas Mathew and Jean Bernard Cerin in a salon performance

Co-sponsored by the Society for the Humanities, The Salon Project brings together music, instruments, research, and conversation in a compact, hour-length format at the historic A. D. White House on select Fridays at 5pm.

January 27: Sezi Seskir and Keiran Campbell, “Beethoven's Berlin Cello Sonatas.“

March 17: Malcolm Bilson and Roger Moseley, “Schubert's Incomplete Piano Sonatas.“

March 31: Xak Bjerken and Rachel Schutz, “Homeward.“ This event has been moved Barnes Hall at 8pm.

May 5: Theodora Serbanescu-Martin. “Extreme Pianism: the Discipline, Methods, and Gimmicks of Nineteenth-Century Virtuosity.” Pianist and PhD candidate Theodora Serbanescu-Martin uncovers the inner mechanics of the nineteenth century’s most extreme pianistic idioms through the performance of Liszt’s Réminiscences de Don Juan, Schubert’s “Wanderer” Fantasy, and Brahms’s left-hand transcription of J. S. Bach’s D-minor chaconne for solo violin alongside the presentation of two reconstructed objects (Henri Herz’s “Dactylion” and Friedrich Kalkbrenner’s "Guide-Main”) that were built to train unruly fingers and strengthen pliable wrists. This event will take place in Barnes Hall at 5pm. 

May 12: Roger Moseley and Ariana Kim (violin). A program of Proustian music, including works by Gabriel Fauré, Reynaldo Hahn, César Franck, and Cécile Chaminade, that showcases the CCHK's beautiful 1865 Pleyel piano. This event will take place at the A.D. White House at 5pm. 

Evening Organ Recitals


Baroque Organ in Anabel Taylor

February 3, 8:00pm: Guest artist Anne Laver, “Song and Dance: Old and New Music for the Schnitger-Style Organ.” Music of five centuries, including works by J. S. Bach, Corelli, Scheidemann, and Natalie Draper. Anabel Taylor Chapel.

March 3, 8:00pm: Annette Richards,"Magnificent Worlds." Music celebrating the cosmos, nature, and the human by Buxtehude, Frescobaldi, Schildt, and van Oortmerssen. Anabel Taylor Chapel.

March 24, 8:00pm: Guest artist Kola Owolabi, “Eclectic Inspiration.” French and American music of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Franck, Tournemire, Vierne, Calvin Hampton, and Rachel Laurin. Sage Chapel.

March 25, *8:30pm*: The Cornell Organists Unplugged, in celebration of Earth Hour. Annette Richards, David Yearsley, Anna Steppler, and Nathan Mondry, with music by Buxtehude, J. S. Bach, C. P. E. Bach, and more. Anabel Taylor Chapel.

April 14, 8:00pm: Nathan Mondry,“Around the Cantus Firmus. J. S. Bach’s Orgelbüchlein, along with Romantic and contemporary chorale-based works. Anabel Taylor Chapel.

April 28, 8:00pm: Anna Steppler,“Radiance. Music of light and hope, including works by Judith Bingham and Florence Price. Sage Chapel.

Midday Music for Organ



Midday Music for Organ offers informal 40-minute programs on alternate Wednesdays at 12:30pm, giving busy Cornellians and guests musical respite at the center of the week. Events take place across campus.

February 1: Annette Richards,“Nature's Music. Storms, birds, forests, and song, with music by Frescobaldi, Sweelinck, Poglietti, and Phillips. Sage Chapel (Italian organ).

February 15: Nathan Mondry,“From B to B.“ Works of Jacques Boyvin and Georg Böhm. Anabel Taylor Chapel.

March 1: David Yearsley, “G. F. Handel vs. J. S. Bach.” Anabel Taylor Chapel.

March 15: Jeffrey Snedeker, “Out of the Depths.“ Music by Bach, Mendelssohn, and 19th-century contemporaries. Sage Chapel (Aeolian-Skinner organ).

March 29: Annette Richards, “Listening to the Lady Organist.“ Elizabeth Stirling in Victorian London. Sage Chapel (Aeolian-Skinner organ).

April 12: Anna Steppler, “Modern Fantasy.“ Music by Ligeti, Demessieux, and Eben. Anabel Taylor Chapel.

April 26: Annette Richards and David Yearsley. An end-of-semester celebration, with music by Franck, Vierne, Dupré, Messiaen and Ives. Sage Chapel (Aeolian-Skinner organ).

Piano Events


Pianos on stage of Barnes Hall

February 10, 8:00pm: Artist-in-Residence Mike Cheng-Yu Lee. Music by Frédéric Chopin, including pieces Chopin composed during his 1838–39 stay in Majorca and the Sonata in B Minor, Op. 58. Barnes Hall.

April 20, 12:30pm: Guest artist Gilbert Kalish. Performing the First Piano Sonata of Charles Ives. Lincoln Hall.

April 22, 8:00pm: Xak Bjerken, Miri Yampolsky, and guest artists Gilbert Kalish, Christina Dahl, and Oksana Ezhokina. A celebration of the two-piano music of Sergei Rachmaninoff, including the First Suite for Two Pianos and Symphonic Dances, as well as George Crumb's Otherworldly Resonances. Barnes Hall.

May 12–14: Chopin Mini-Academy.

Chopin Mini-Academy


Masterclasses preparing for the Second International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments

In collaboration with the International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments, the CCHK presents a weekend of masterclasses, lectures, and recitals drawing on its collection of "Chopin" instruments – original Pleyel, Broadwood, Graf, and Erard pianos. Guest artist-teachers include the internationally renowned pianist and pedagogue Nikolai Demidenko, Tobias Koch (juror for this year's competition), and Cornell’s Mike Cheng-Yu Lee. They are further joined by the eminent Chopin scholar Halina Goldberg (Indiana University–Bloomington).

Six graduate participants – hailing from institutions such as the Yale School of Music, the University of Southern California, the Eastman School of Music, the New England Conservatory – will be hosted on the Cornell campus and will offer two public evening recitals of the music of Chopin.

Recital I: Saturday May 13th, 8pm Barnes Hall (Tobias Koch with participants)

Recital II: Sunday May 14th, 8pm Barnes Hall (participants)