Hotchkiss Pianists Dazzle Audience in Benefit Concert at Jiangsu Centre for the Performing Arts
On the evening of March 8, the gleaming new Concert Hall of Jiangsu Centre for the Performing Arts was filled to capacity. A unique public-benefit concert was underway as nearly a thousand piano students and their parents enjoyed the wonderful performance of two leading Brazilian American pianists in one of China’s most outstanding music venues.
Jiangsu Centre for the Performing Arts
Under the theme "Piano Duos by Friends from Hotchkiss and Nanjing" and hosted by Jiangsu Centre for the Performing Arts, Fabio and Gisele Witkowski, the internationally renowned pianists known as the Witkowski Piano Duo, as well as a student who will soon matriculate at Hotchkiss School in the USA, performed masterfully. The concert aimed to showcase music education in both countries, promote Sino-US cultural exchange, and popularize piano among a wider audience. Also on the program were a young visually-impaired piano virtuoso, as well as the international winners of Nanjing Outstanding Pianist Children’s Award. The organizers also invited teachers and students from the Nanjing School for the Blind to attend.
Fabio and Gisele Witkowski
Oliver Chen, the Nanjing-born student who will matriculate at Hotchkiss this autumn, partnered with the Witkowskis to promote art activities in China. As the youngest son of Mr. Chen Guangbiao, China’s Moral Leader and Charity Champion, he has studied piano since childhood, and won numerous awards in international piano competitions. Deeply influenced by his father's ideals, he is dedicated to advancing the public good through philanthropy. Jiangsu Centre for the Performing Arts, as a public-benefit arts institution, is committed to the promotion and popularization of the musical arts. The Centre is at the forefront of Jiangsu’s cultural and artistic exchanges with overseas counterparts.
Fabio and Gisele Witkowski, the piano masters, have been sharing stages around the world as the Witkowski Piano Duo. As accomplished pianists and dedicated educators, the Witkowskis are highly acclaimed for their vibrant and dynamic four-hands and two piano recitals. American media have described their playing as "showing marvelous rubato and tremendously clean playing, with a lovely sense of tone." Currently, they teach piano at Hotchkiss, and Mr. Witkowski also serves as the director of the school's visual performance and art department.
Founded in 1891 and located in Connecticut, the Hotchkiss School is approximately 150 kilometers from New York City. It was originally established with help from the President of Yale University, with the goal of “delivering talents for Yale.” Through a hundred years of development, it is now a top-ranked independent boarding school in the USA, and a member of the Ten Schools Admissions Organization (TSAO). It is known as the “Little Ivy League” school, and the back garden of Yale University.
This unique concert for art popularization was a resounding success. The students present said that the performance was a great inspiration that strengthened their confidence in learning the piano. Their parents agreed that such public-benefit events broaden children’s horizons and set an example for them to pursue their dreams. The Centre’s director was greatly moved by the performances, and expressed hope the Centre will host more high-level exchange activities to better showcase the cultural heritage and open spirit of Jiangsu.