Gilbert Kalish: world renowned pianist coming to Butler



World-renowned pianist Gilbert Kalish will play at Butler University as the featured artist for a recital put on by the Indiana Music Teachers Association.

This recital is part of the association’s state conference, which has not been held at Butler since 2004.

Kalish will perform Friday at 8 p.m. in the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts.

He has created more than 100 recordings of collaborations and solo performances. One of his most famous recordings is his popular rendition of Charles Ives’ “Concord Sonata,” which he will perform at the recital. He is also famous for his interpretation of the works of Franz Joseph Haydn, which he will also perform.

“My performances are part enjoyment and part responsibility to the great music I am playing to represent it well,” Kalish said.

Piano professor Kate Boyd, a former student of Kalish’s,  said she is honored to have the opportunity to invite him to campus. Boyd emphasized the importance of hearing different viewpoints in music.

“It shows an example of what is possible in the field and it holds up a standard where you are like, ‘Oh wow, I could really move towards that,’” Boyd said.

Boyd said this is one of the biggest performers to come to Butler, since he is affiliated with the IMTA state conference.

MTNA president Erin Peyer is a Butler School of Music graduate who now teaches classes for the school. She said she will learn a lot from Kalish from both a teaching and student perspective.

Both Boyd and Peyer expressed interest in the master class Kalish will teach after the recital. The class will take place this Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall.

“You are getting it from both ends,” Peyer said. “You are going to hear different things that you haven’t heard, and maybe get inspiration to try something a little different with something that you are working on.”

Just as teaching and learning go hand-in-hand, performing and teaching do as well. Boyd said Kalish’s ability to perform as a soloist and collaborate while working as an educator is impressive. Kalish is a professor of piano at Stony Brook University in New York, where he grew up.

“I think to have somebody very active and engaged in both areas and in demand that way is very exciting, and it’s certainly something that sets him apart,” Boyd said.

Kalish said he can identify with teachers and added that this performance is different than some of his others because he is performing in front of fellow members of the academic world.

“I am particularly pleased to be performing for a group of music teachers who are helping to carry on the traditions of great classical music and keyboard playing in America,” Kalish said.

Kalish has performed solo recitals around the world at famous musical festivals, including Mostly Mozart in New York, Brighton and Aldeburgh in England, and Ojai in California.

He is a founding member of the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and the pianist for the Boston Symphony Chamber Players.

He is also a member of many other ensembles and has appeared as a guest for many others.

He studied at Columbia College, working with teachers including Leonard Shure, Julius Hereford and Isabelle Vengerova, all three well-known teachers and pianists.

For information on other events  hosted by Kalish and other musicians from the community and Butler’s faculty visit


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