Concerts & Events
Yara Ensemble is an exciting and unique collaboration between Portuguese-Italian pianist Alexandra Mascolo-David and Brazilian-British-American mezzo-soprano Sarah Stone. With direction and choreography by Annette Thornton and digital media art by Eric Limarenko, the Yara performance experience weaves music, theatre, and art into an intimate and accessible narrative journey designed for 21st century audiences. Our goal is to create an immersive performance experience where the audience is engaged in the act of discovery. Entertaining while educating is at the core of the Yara mission. Showcasing music of the Iberian peninsula and the Americas, Yara Ensemble’s repertoire includes a combination of classical, folk, and popular music repertoire unified by a narrative theme. Yara recitals tell a story and are supported by diverse media that allow audience members the freedom to sit back and enjoy without having to squint at programs in a darkened hall.
Alexandra Mascolo-David, piano
“A splendid pianist—refined, searching and expressive, and her playing is loaded with insight and interpretative detail.”
So wrote The Washington Post, after Alexandra Mascolo- David’s performance at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in the nation’s capital. Alexandra has performed and led workshops and master classes in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Her New York debut recital at Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall) in May 2004 was favorably reviewed in The New York Concert Review. She has devoted the last decade to exploring and unearthing the music of Portuguese and Brazilian composers, especially that of Francisco Mignone. Alexandra’s performances of his Valsas brasileiras (Brazilian Waltzes) have been widely acclaimed, and her compact disc recording of Volume One of those works received a rave review in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Alexandra also recorded Mignone’s Fantasias brasileiras for piano and orchestra with the Kalamazoo Symphony under Raymond Harvey’s baton, for the White Pine Music label in 2010. In addition, she is a champion of new music, performing and recording works by living composers, some of whom have written and dedicated pieces to her. In 2017, Alexandra premiered David Maslanka’s Concerto No. 3 for Piano and Wind Symphony, a work commissioned by a consortium of universities. Her collaboration with Maslanka began in 2007, when she performed and recorded his Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Wind Symphony, for Albany Records. Lately, Alexandra has found the courage to explore composing, inspired by Yara Ensemble. She has served on the piano faculties of Iowa State University and the Interlochen Arts Camp (MI). Currently she is Professor of Piano at Central Michigan University. At CMU, Alexandra has developed workshops and curriculum addressing performance anxiety management. She loves dogs, good wine, aquatic sports, soccer, jewelry making, reading, and visiting art museums.
Sarah Stone, mezzo-soprano
Mezzo-soprano Sarah Stone’s performance is “outstanding… charming… portraying conviction well beyond her years.” —Bloomington Herald-Times.
Praised for her “naturally warm, unpretentious and appealing” voice, Brazilian-British-American mezzo-soprano Sarah Stone is comfortable in a variety of genres and has been featured in both North and South America with the Bay View Music Festival, Kentucky Opera & Louisville Ballet, Tanglewood Music Center, and Dorian Opera Theatre and the Traditional Jazz Band. Recognized for her versatility she is described as “a fearless performer” and “an imaginative actress with natural stage presence.” An active proponent of contemporary classical music she has collaborated with composers Dan Powers, Vietnamese composer P.Q.
Phan—premiering the lead role in his opera The Tale of Lady Thi Kinh, Brazilian composer Marcos Balter, and in 2013 she had the privilege of performing Missy Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar. Sarah was raised in São Paulo, Brazil, where she played soccer professionally in her early twenties. A self-described “information junky,” her research interests lie in Brazilian modernism, vocal technique, and the application of the arts in STEAM education. Sarah Stone serves as chair of the Fine Arts Department at the Kentucky Country Day School in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as a resident opera and music theater stage director at the Bay View Music Festival in Michigan.
Annette Thornton, director
Annette Thornton (PhD, University of Colorado, Boulder) is Associate Professor at Central Michigan University where she teaches Music Theatre Performance Courses, Acting, Movement for the Actor, Music Theatre History, Dance History, and directs/choreographs the musicals. Selected directing/choreographing credits include: The Full Monty (Attic Theatre), Blood Wedding (KC-ACTF Certificate of Merit for Directing), The Secret Garden, Into the Woods, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Scarlet Pimpernel, 42nd Street, Edges, Hair, Oedipus the King, and Oklahoma! (KC-ACTF Certificate of Merit for Directing). In 2011 Annette played the role of Vivian Bearing in Wit at Bethel College (KS) sharing the bill of Greer Visiting Artist Series with playwright Margaret Edson. Annette’s scholarly interests include mime, mime performers, and music theatre. Her article, “Jane and Jerusha: Finding a Voice on the Musical Stage,” was published in Studies in Musical Theatre. Her dissertation on Lotte Goslar, Grandma Always Danced: The Mime Theatre of Lotte Goslar, is the first full-length study of this important female clown/pantomime/ dancer. She is currently co-editing a book on Physical Dramaturgy to be published by Routledge. Annette has studied mime with Marcel Marceau and Meyerhold’s Theatrical Biomechanics with Gennadi Bogdanov, and is a certified yoga teacher. She was the invited keynote speaker at Ohio State University’s “Mime & Movement Theatre Symposium” (2014) organized by Jeanine Thompson. Annette is the immediate past-president of Association of Theatre Movement Educators.
Eric Limarenko, digital media artist
Eric Limarenko (MFA, The Savannah College of Art & Design) is a multimedia artist who got his start in video at The Home Shopping Network working on set as well as in Master Control. In 2002, he moved to Michigan where he landed at Forest Post Productions. He served in the editorial department working with such clients as Ford, FOX Sports, KFC and Quicken Loans. He was also the lead creative editor on the children’s series Noodlebug. In 2008, Eric was appointed the Sr. Avid Editor position at the J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency for Team-Detroit where he worked on national campaigns as well as created daily elements for Ford’s web presence. Currently he is an Assistant Professor at Central Michigan University where he serves as Video Unit Head over the
award-winning student run station, MHTV. Eric is the recipient of the 2016 Telly award for his film Whatnots, featuring his original score. His passions are still grounded in new media, discovering his own art by creating original music, motion graphics, and abstract video.
Sirens of the Sea: Love and Longing
This program was inspired by the Portuguese maritime discoveries of the 15 th and 16 th centuries, and by Saudade, the intense longing felt by both sailors and the loved ones left behind.
Alexandra Mascolo-David (b. 1962)
“Saudade” for piano
Ernesto Halffter (1905–1989)
“Ai, que linda moça” (Oh, What a Beautiful Maiden)
from Seis Canções Portuguesas (Six Portuguese Songs)
Trovas de Coimbra (Songs from Coimbra)
Vão-se os anos (Gone are the days)
Se eu soubesse ao ver o dia (Had I known when I saw the day)
Olho, atento, o céu imenso (Intently watching the immense sky)
António Fragoso (1897–1918)
Seven Preludes for piano solo
1. Muito vivo
2. Muito lento
3. Allegretto com graça
4. Allegretto molto
Francisco de Lacerda (1869–1964)
Trovas (Troubadour Love Songs)
1. Em cima do alto monte (At the Top of the Hill)
4. Desde que os cravos e rosas (Ever Since Roses and Carnations)
8. A alegria dos meus olhos (The Joy of My Eyes)
11. Não morreu nem acabou (It Is Neither Death, Nor the End)
14. Os meus olhos não são olhos (My Eyes Aren’t Eyes)
19. É ter arte não falar (It’s Art, Not to Speak)
20. Quero cantar ser alegre (I Want to Sing, Be Happy)
22. Amor que me traz presa (The Love that Keeps Me Prisoner)
Frederico Valério (1887–1961)
Portuguese Fado “ Ai Mouraria ”
Raul Ferrão (1890–1953)
Portuguese Fado “ Coimbra ”
Hailed as “absolutely dazzling…in a word, flawless” (New York Concert Review) during her recent Carnegie Hall debut, Grammy nominated American pianist Kara Huber has been acclaimed for her “mature vision” by The Washington Post.
The 2016-2017 season featured her Carnegie Hall debut in Weill Recital Hall and the Steinway Series at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Ms. Huber has made numerous solo appearances at the Kennedy Center, the Piano Virtuoso Series at the Canadian Opera Company, and the Rising Stars Piano Series in Southampton, New York. Often hired as a recitalist for her inventive and creative programming that all audiences can enjoy, Ms. Huber has performed across North America, Europe, and Australia. She was featured with the York Symphony Orchestra as well as conducted and performed with the Canadian Chamber Orchestra in Toronto.
Ms. Huber has received numerous prizes and awards for her performances, including the Audience Favorite Award in the Cincinnati World Piano Competition, Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, The Stetcher and Horowitz Foundation’s New York Piano Competition, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. Quickly gaining an international reputation for her extraordinary prowess and flair for contemporary music, Kara works closely with living composers and recorded with the ARC Ensemble for Chandos Records, which was nominated for a 2017 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance.
Ms. Huber began private lessons at the age of five and at sixteen was admitted to the Interlochen Arts Academy where she made her orchestral debut with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra. Kara has received degrees at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Frank Weinstock and Awadagin Pratt. Currently based in Toronto, she most recently completed an Artist Diploma degree at the Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music with John Perry and Leon Fleisher.
Three Nursery Rhymes
Virtuoso Etudes on Gershwin Songs
[commissioned piece TBA]
Rhapsody In Blue
“New American Piano Music” from 100 years ago: works by Arthur Foote, Marion Bauer, Leo Ornstein, Henry Cowell, Charles Griffes, and the “Concord” Sonata of Charles Ives
“Dusk” and “Flying Cloud” from Five Silhouettes, Op. 73
Preludes, Op. 15, Nos. 2 & 3
Suicide in an Airplane
The White Peacock (from Roman Sketches, Op. 7)
Piano Sonata No. 2, “Concord, Mass. 1840-1860”
Phillip Bush is a pianist of uncommon versatility with a repertoire extending from the 16th century to the 21st. His active and unconventional career has taken him to many parts of the globe. Since his New York recital debut at the Metropolitan Museum in 1984, Mr. Bush has appeared as recitalist throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. He made his Carnegie Hall concerto debut in 2001 with the London Sinfonietta to critical acclaim, replacing an ailing Peter Serkin on short notice in concerti by Stravinsky and Alexander Goehr. He has also appeared as soloist with the Osaka Century Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Houston Symphony and several other orchestras, in repertoire as far-ranging as the Beethoven concerti and the American premiere of Michael Nyman’s Harpsichord Concerto.
A much sought-after chamber musician, Mr. Bush has performed and recorded with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, has appeared frequently on New York’s Bargemusic series, and has performed at the Grand Canyon Music Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, Strings in the Mountains (Colorado), Sitka Music Festival (Alaska), St. Bart’s Music Festival, Music at Blair Atholl (Scotland), Cape May Music Festival and many other festivals. He has appeared as guest artist with the Kronos, Parker, Jupiter, Lutoslawski, and Miami String Quartets and has also performed with members of the Emerson, Guarneri, Tokyo, Orion and St. Lawrence quartets. Between 1991 and 1999, he performed over 250 concerts in Japan with the piano quartet, Typhoon, and recorded five CD’s with the group for Epic/Sony, all of which reached the top of the Japanese classical charts.
A fierce advocate for contemporary music, Phillip Bush is best known for his association for over 20 years with both Steve Reich & Musicians and the Philip Glass Ensemble, as well as 15 years as member of the Milwaukee-based new music group, Present Music. Mr. Bush’s efforts on behalf of contemporary music have earned him grants and awards from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Aaron Copland Fund, ASCAP, Chamber Music America, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Leon Fleisher. Mr. Bush has served on the faculty of the University of Michigan, and since 2012 has been a piano and chamber music faculty member at the University of South Carolina School of Music.
Scott Joplin (1868-1917)
Bethena, A Concert Waltz
Muzio Clementi (1752-1832)
Waltz, Op. 38 No.9
Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Waltz in B minor, No.6 D.145
Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
Valse Oubliee No.1 in F Minor
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
La Plus Que Lente, L.121
Alexander Scriabin (1871-1915)
Waltz in A flat Major, Op.38
Valentin Silvestrov (1937-)
Vladimir Rebikov (1866-1925)
Waltz from “Yolka” The Christmas Tree
Erik Satie (1866-1925)
Waltz No. 2 “Son Binocle”
Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Waltz (Cinderella & Prince), from Cinderella, Op.102 No.1
Richard Danielpour (1956-)
Waiting for Chopin
Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)
Waltz in A Minor, Op. 34 No.2
George Oakley (1979-)
Arvo Part (1935-)
Dmitri Schostakovich (1906-1975)
Waltz – Joke
James Carlson (1946-)
Hector Villa-Lobos (1887-1959)
Valse da Dor
Georgian born pianist Inga Kashakashvili is “a fine example of a world class performer at the top of her game” (Matt Warnock, Review.you). Acclaimed reviewers have praised her performance as “excellent” (New York Concert Review), “persuasive, authoritative—much to the delight of the audience” (Charles Adams, Hudson Falls). She has performed at major venues around the world, among them Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Steinway Hall, Merkin Hall at Kaufman Center, Lyric Opera (Chicago), Barbican Centre (London), Tradegar House (Newport, UK), Gewandhaus (Leipzig), Opera House and Tbilisi Center for Music and Culture (Georgia).
In October of 2018, NAXOS records will release a new CD album “Wanderer” worldwide, on which Ms. Kashakashvili plays a major role as a performer of recorded and premiered George Oakley’s Sonata for cello and piano, Four Songs based on Shakespeare Sonnets for mezzo soprano and piano and Toccata for solo piano.
Ms. Kashakashvili is a prizewinner of numerous international competitions, including the Artists International Auditions and the Jacob Flier International Piano Competition in New York and the Newport International Competition for Young Pianists in Wales. She has participated in prestigious music festivals including the Fête de La Musique in conjunction with the French-American Piano Society and Steinway & Sons at Sofitel in New York, the United Sounds of America in Chicago, PianoSummer at New Paltz in New York, and the Leipzig Music Festival in Germany.
“I am very impressed with her passion for music, pianistic abilities and a tangible stage presence”, said Vladimir Feltsman. Eteri Andjaparidze writes, “Ms. Kashakashvili’s talent is truly unsurpassed as she equally awes both broad audiences and professional musicians.”
Ms. Kashakashvili’s teachers have included Nino Katamadze, Eteri Andjaparidze, Vladimir Feltsman. For more information, please visit www.ingakashakashvili.com.
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PianoForte Studios is located at 1335 South Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605.
The easiest way to find parking near us is by using SpotHero. Click on their logo below to be redirected to their website.
If you prefer to go directly to a garage or lot, here is a list of a few in the area:
- 1234 S Michigan Avenue Garage – ParkMichigan Self Park Garage – Entrance on Michigan Avenue – Credit Card Only
- 1255 S Michigan Avenue Garage – Sky55 – Entrance on S 13th St – Credit Card Only
- 1408 S Wabash Avenue – Open Air Lot – Entrance on Wabash Avenue
Street parking on our block is unmetered, but finding a spot can be difficult at most times of the day. One block south of us there is metered street parking. We recommend having a backup plan if you decide to try to park on the street.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are you located?
We are located on the east side of Michigan Avenue two blocks south of Roosevelt Rd. The address is 1335 South Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605. Our concert hall is on the 2nd Floor.
Where should I park?
Please see the Parking Section above.
Is there handicap access?
We have an elevator in the back of our building. The elevator is keyed and will require a staff member to escort you. If you aren’t able to take the stairs please enter the front door of the building and ring the doorbell directly ahead of you in the entry area. One of our staff will be down shortly to help.
I bought tickets online, how will I receive them?
When buying your tickets online your name is added to our door list. There is no need to print or bring any ticket or confirmation. When you arrive at the concert hall you will simply be asked for your name, it will be checked against our door list, and you will be free to take your seat. There is no need to print tickets or payment confirmation.
How many seats are in the hall? Is seating assigned or general?
Our concert hall seats a maximum of 100 people. We generally have chairs set up for 65 to 80 depending on the event. All of our concerts are general admission unless otherwise noted in the event description.
Can I buy tickets at the door?
Generally, yes. Unless a concert is extremely popular we will have tickets available at the door. You can pay either by cash or card.
How early should I arrive? What time will doors open?
The door open time depends on the artists and how long they feel they need to rehearse before the concert. In general doors will open 15 to 30 minutes before the event start time. We recommend arriving 10 to 20 minutes before the concert start time to get a seat and settle in before the show starts.