The Gilmore Keyboard Festival Comes to Vicksburg

terrence wilson
Terrence Wilson.

By Sue Moore

Vicksburg’s Performing Arts Center will again host Gilmore Keyboard Festival pianists in performance this spring.

Kalamazoo is world-renowned for the festival, which started in 1991. It has received acclamation because it choses its Gilmore Artist Award for pianists every four years. That person doesn’t audition but is chosen by a jury of peers, a process unique in the piano world. As the festival has grown and expanded through the legacy of Irving S. Gilmore’s financial trust, performances have been assigned venues all over southwest Michigan.

Pianists coming to the Performing Arts Center include Terrence Wilson at 7 p.m. March 21 and Daniel Hsu, a Gilmore Young Artist Award winner, in recital at 4 p.m. May 8.

Wilson will take the stage March 21 as part of the Gilmore Family Concert series. This 50-minute concert of world class piano music, accompanied by engaging visuals, is open to the public free of charge, according to Tim Fuller, manager of the PAC.

Wilson has established a reputation as one of today’s most gifted pianists. He has appeared as soloist with many prestigious ensembles and is an active recitalist in his own right. Wilson will guide audiences through the world of dance and movement through the sounds of the grand piano. The repertoire is still in development, but selections will be pulled from Stravinsky’s Petrushka, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Bernstein’s West Side Story and other piano works that are ballet or dance-influenced.
The Gilmore Young Artist Award is presented every two years to single out the most promising of the new generation of U.S. pianists, age 22 and younger. Nominations are made by music professionals from around the world, and an anonymous selection committee evaluates the nominees over a period of time. Candidates for the Award are unaware that they are under consideration.

Each Gilmore Young Artist receives a $15,000 stipend to further a musical career and educational development, as well as a commission towards a new piano composition for which the artist will have exclusive performance rights for one year. The award is strictly monetary and advisory, and does not involve managerial assistance from the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival.

Since 1990, 32 pianists have been recognized as Gilmore Young Artists. Hsu and Micah McLaurin were named for 2016.

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