IPFW Strikes a Chord with "Monster Piano Concert"

Mar 19, 2015

IPFW's Chancellor Vicky Carwein and Director of Keyboard Studies, Dr. Hamilton Tescarollo will open Friday evening's concert with von Suppe's "Poet and Peasant Overture."
Credit Jim Whitcraft

As IPFW continues its 50th anniversary celebrations, the university is holding a rare musical event this weekend with its first-ever "50 Hands Monster Piano Concert."

The brainchild of Director of Keyboard Studies Dr. Hamilton Tescarollo, the event features 24 pianists, a conductor, and eight concert Steinways -- all on one stage.

Shows like this aren't exactly common. But both large scale, multiple-hand piano works and monster piano concerts have been pleasing crowds since the 19th century.

IPFW's modern version draws on the talents of students, alumni, and faculty members, including Chancellor Vicky Carwein.

Beginning with one piano and four hands, the numbers will progressively build, through Rossini's "Semiramide Overture," arranged for eight pianos and thirty-two hands.

And the grand finale? All fifty hands in motion for a "monster version" of Katchaturian's "Sabre Dance."

Tescarollo says most audiences simply haven't seen anything like it.

"It's very exciting to have this big sound and this sort of piano orchestra" he explains. "It's a little bit of a spectacle, you know, just even seeing all of these pianos and all of these pianists on the stage. I would say it's Piano Power...that's what comes to mind."

You can find out more about the concert at their facebook page.

Event Information:

50 Hands Monster Piano Concert
@ IPFW's Auer Performance Hall, Fort Wayne
Friday, March 20th, 2015
7:30 p.m.