February 2018

February 2018

Jeffrey Panko and Shi-An Costello February 9&11

FINAL — Carnival of the Animals.jpg

Join us on Friday February 9th at 7pm or Sunday February 11th at 2pm for a wonderful performance featuring works by Saint-Saens and Ravel performed by Jeffrey Panko and Shi-An (Andy) Costello.

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Carnival of the Animals - Saint-Saens

Le Carnaval was composed in February 1886 while Saint-Saëns was vacationing in a small Austrian village. It was originally scored for a chamber group of flute/piccolo, clarinet (B flat and C), two pianos, glass harmonica, xylophone, two violins, viola, cello and double bass, but is usually performed today with a full orchestra of strings, and with a glockenspiel substituting for the rare glass harmonica.

Saint-Saëns, apparently concerned that the piece was too frivolous and likely to harm his reputation as a serious composer, suppressed performances of it and only allowed one movement, Le Cygne, to be published in his lifetime. Only small private performances were given for close friends like Franz Liszt.

Saint-Saëns did, however, include a provision which allowed the suite to be published after his death. It was first performed on 26 February 1922, and it has since become one of his most popular works. (

Ma Mere l'Oye - Maurice Ravel

Ravel originally composed Ma Mère l’oye (Mother Goose) in 1908 and 1910 as a suite of four-hand piano pieces. They were written for the children of his friends Ida and Cipa Godebski. This five movement suite captures the essence of childhood. 

About the performers


Shi-An Costello

Others have described Shi-An (Andy) Costello (世 安) as “a tour de force… a thoughtful and adventurous artist” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), “a precise, engaged, welcoming performer unafraid of deep ambiguities” (Chicago Reader), “trailblazing a path truly unique” (Pianoforte Foundation), “completely unique to the Montréal scene and perhaps the world over” (Innovations en Concert), “finds the depth in every note” (composer Philippe Leroux), “comic but faintly chilling… pointillist luminosity” (Chicago Classical Review).

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Jeffrey Panko

Jeffrey Panko has received critical acclaim as solo artist and collaborative pianist throughout the United States and Europe.   At the age of six Panko began his formal musical education with his grandmother, Lorraine Jagodzinski and received degrees in Piano Performance from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and the DePaul University School of Music. Currently working with his mentor, former Chicago Symphony Orchestra pianist Mary Sauer, Panko has earned top prize awards in the Society of American Musicians’ Piano Competition (Chicago) and the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition (New York).

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Fifty Seats is an intimate performance and lecture series, in which the audience gets to enjoy the great works of the past and the new standards of today in an intimate atmosphere. Breathe with the artists, see what they see and hear what they hear. Be feet away from international stars sharing their love for their craft and experience music like you never have before. 

Hosted by New Music School, a progressive and respected conservatory for gifted young musicians, with a world famous faculty composed of internationally acclaimed Chamber musicians, members of the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Orchestra and acclaimed soloists.