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April 30, 2024

MSU concert blends powerful music with fairytales

Four grand pianos share the stage as pianists from the MSU College of Music perform in the annual Piano Monster concert at the MSU Auditorium’s Fairchild Theatre.

The Michigan State University College of Music will bring masters of sublime harmony and monstrous thunder to its stage in this last concert of the season. With a varied and thrilling repertoire, "Piano Monster: Stories from Around the World" takes the audience on a globe-trotting musical adventure.

The season finale for the MSU Federal Credit Union Showcase Series, the event will take place on Sunday, May 5th, at 3:00 p.m. in the Fairchild Theatre. Featured MSU pianists include Young Hyun Cho, Deborah Moriarty, Derek Polischuk, Zhihua Tang, Tamar Mikeladze and Eric Zuber. These virtuosos will share the stage and sometimes the same keyboard! With four grand pianos together on stage, wonders are sure to happen before your eyes.

The repertoire and atmosphere will combine classical selections, sweeping fairytales, and rich folklore and culture, creating an immersive experience perfect for the whole family to enjoy. Pieces such as "Peter and the Wolf" by Sergei Prokofiev, "La gazza ladra" by Gioachino Rossini, musical selections from the play "Peer Gynt" composed by Edvard Grieg, Cielito Lindo-themed folk songs in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, and John Philip Sousa's famous "Stars and Stripes Forever" will all grace the stage. Voice faculty member and bass-baritone Marc Embree will once again narrate the program, sharing his voice for "Peter and the Wolf," a piece originally composed for an entire orchestra.

“We are excited about sharing this unique program with concertgoers for this year’s Piano Monster, said Professor of Piano and Chair of the MSU Keyboard Area Deborah Moriarty. “With such a diverse lineup of repertoire touching on unique stories and traditions across cultures, it’s a wonderful opportunity to witness the enchanting beauty of pianos together in symphony.”

This performance is generously sponsored by Andrea L. Wulf and Clare Mackey.

Reserved seating for this final concert in the MSUFCU Showcase Series is $22 for adults, $20 for seniors (age 60 and older), and $12 for students and those under 18 with valid ID, and can be purchased online (, by calling (517) 353-5340, or at the door. More information about the 2023-2024 season of music can be found at

This story originally appeared on the College of Music website.

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