Concerts & Events

Concerts & Events

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Frequently Asked Questions



Chicago Flamenco Beat
Mar 29 @ 7:00 pm
Chicago Flamenco Beat @ PianoForte Studios

Travel to Spain without leaving Chicago! Get lost in the beautiful sounds of Flamenco Singer Patricia Nuñez “La Tiranta” accompanied on Spanish guitar by Ricardo Diaz, on dance floor by Cristina Sirbubalo and on percussion by Haris Sirbubalo.Tradition, Art and Passion of Flamenco music..OLE!!


7:00 PM-10:00 PM

Lin He and Frank Huang: An Evening of Brahms’ Chamber Music for Violin and Piano
Apr 13 @ 7:30 pm
Lin He and Frank Huang: An Evening of Brahms’ Chamber Music for Violin and Piano @ PianoForte Studios

Sonatensatz, Scherzo in C minor from the F.A.E. Sonata

Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major, Op. 78
Vivace, ma non troppo
Allegro molto moderato


Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major, Op. 100
Allegro amabile
Andante tranquillo
Allegro grazioso (quasi Andante)

Sonata for Violin and Piano in D minor, Op. 108
Un poco presto e con sentimento
Presto agitato

Lin He, violin
Violinist Lin He made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in November 2014, after a performance there earlier that year with principal players from the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestra in orchestral setting. Over the past seasons, he performed the Korngold Concerto with the Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Shippensburg Symphony and the Sibelius Concerto with the Lake Charles Symphony.

Inspired by the complete Beethoven Sonatas and complete Mozart Sonatas for Violin and Piano in the past two season, 2018-2019 season of concerts will include Schubert Complete Music for Violin and Piano and complete Brahms Sonatas for Violin and Piano in multiple venues including the PianoForte Foundation Concert Series in Chicago; chamber recitals as the violinist of Caladium Piano Trio; violin soloist of the Bruch Scottish Fantasy with the Sonoma County Philharmonic Orchestra; violinist with principal players of major orchestras for the Concert of Solidarity for the Rohingya Refugees at Carnegie Hall, solo recitals and masterclasses at Longy School of Music at Bard College, University of Oklahoma and Northern Illinois University; series of concerts and masterclasses in mainland China and Taiwan.

He has presented recitals at universities across the United States and China. Most recently, he shared stage with Shanghai String Quartet and violinist Charles Castleman; performed solo recitals and gave master classes at Arizona State University, Florida State University, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, University of Houston, University of Las Vegas, University of North Texas, and University Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

As an orchestral player, Mr. He has performed with the Shanghai Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic and New World Symphony. He is a regular addition to the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

Summer festival appearances have taken Mr. He to venues such as the Music Academy of the West, the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival. Lin He has been a laureate of the Padesta Solo Competition and the ASTA competition.

Mr. He is now serving as the Associate Professor of Violin at the Louisiana State University School of Music and the Associate Concertmaster of the Baton Rouge Symphony. During the summer, he teaches at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Montecito International Music Festival and BayView Music Festival.

Born in Shanghai, China, Mr. He began his musical training at the age of five. Mr. He received his doctorate from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied under the tutelage of Zvi Zeitlin. Other major influences include Steven Staryk, Sylvia Rosenberg and Paul Kantor.

His CD release from Centaur Records of French Sonatas for Violin and Piano with pianist Gregory Sioles received favorable reviews.

Frank Huang, piano
Frank Huang is an Assistant Professor of Piano at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Previously, he served as a faculty member at The College of Wooster and The Cleveland Institute of Music.

Described by New York Concert Review as a “thoughtful and accomplished performer” and that his playing was “impressive for its maturity and refinement,” Mr. Huang has gained international recognition for his artistry and technical command. Others have also acknowledged his talents, as the Chopin Foundation of the United States, Northwest Chapter has commented that “Huang plays with authority and panache” while El Comerico of Lima, Peru praised his interpretation of Mozart’s Piano Concerto, K.482 “with the utmost sensitivity.” Mr. Huang’s concerts have led him throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Such notable venues include Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall, Benaroya Hall (Seattle), US Embassy in Warsaw, Zelazowa Wola (Warsaw), Gijon International Piano Festival (Spain), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Holland Music Sessions, Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Dame Myra Recital Series at Chicago’s Cultural Center, Lincoln Center in New York, and St. Martin in the Fields, London, UK. Mr. Huang’s concerts have also been featured on various radio and television broadcasts across the United States and abroad. Most recently, his performances were aired on “Primo movimento,” a popular classical music program on RaiRadio 3 in Rome, Italy. An avid chamber musician, he also enjoys performing with others as he has collaborated with members of the Cleveland Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in recitals. Equally active as a soloist with orchestra, he has performed with the Sammamish Symphony, Northwest Philharmonia, Peru National Symphony, Wooster Symphony Orchestra, Central Ohio Symphony, and Sichuan Symphony Orchestra.

Recent notable engagements included performances at the University of Ulsan (South Korea), Sichuan Normal University (China), The PianoForte Foundation (Chicago), Reinhardt Piano Festival and Academy (Georgia), MedtnerFest (London, UK), and Southwest Piano Festival (New Mexico).

Mr. Huang is also an active recording artist. His recordings can be found on the Centaur Records and Nimbus Alliance labels. Recently, Huang released two recordings, Jack Gallagher: Piano Music and Johannes Brahms: Selected Piano Music, in spring 2017. Both recordings have received rave reviews as critics have described Dr. Huang’s performances as “thrilling” (The Classical Reviewer) and that “Huang deserves kudos for his sparkling and sensitive playing, and that better performances of these works would be well-nigh impossible to come by.” (Fanfare) Soon-to-be-released albums include a chamber music disc of contemporary American women composers and volume one of the complete solo piano music of forgotten Russian romantic composer, Nikolai Medtner.

Mr. Huang’s creative interests consist of promoting lesser-known works and music of our time. He has performed and recorded music of Mark Applebaum, Augusta Read Thomas, and Jack Gallagher. Recently, he has been performing

Frederic Rzewski’s monumental work, “The People United Will Never be Defeated!” in recitals as well as selected pieces from his Medtner project.

As a prize winner of several important international competitions, Mr. Huang has garnered awards at the World International Piano Competition, The International Artists Competition, and Artists International Auditions.

A native of Seattle, WA, Frank Huang studied extensively with Willard Schultz at the Academy of Music Northwest before obtaining Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he continued his studies with Julian Martin. Following his training at Juilliard, he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at The Cleveland Institute of Music under the direction of Antonio Pompa-Baldi. Other influential teachers included Lee Kum-Sing, Robert McDonald, Daniel Shapiro, and Dominique Weber. Huang has also participated in masterclasses with eminent musicians of our time including Nelita True, Byron Janis, Jon Kimura Parker, Richard Goode, and Murray Perahia.

Equally dedicated as a music educator, Dr. Huang feels privileged to share his knowledge with students at Miami University, where he teaches piano, chamber music, and literature courses. He has been invited to present master classes in various institutions across the United States as well as an adjudicator at local piano competitions and auditions.

Additionally, Dr. Huang values that classical music should be accessible to everyone. To this end, he has started a blog where he shares his knowledge of music including several “how-to” posts as well as his passion on lesser-known works. You can visit his website and blog at

Bill Evans: “Time Remembered” – Documentary Viewing and Live Performance
Apr 14 @ 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Bill Evans: "Time Remembered" - Documentary Viewing and Live Performance @ PianoForte Studios
3 PM: “Time Remembered”, a 90 minute documentary about Bill Evans
4:30 PM: Q&A with Dave Thompson about the movie
5 PM: Live Performance
6:15 PM: Meet and Greet
Event ends at 7 PM

David Thompson has been performing and teaching for the past 30 years. He studied with George Shearing and Joanne Brackeen in New York, and with Don Haas in the SF Bay Area. He has composed film scores, and music for documentaries and independent film productions, including projects for the Sierra Club. For the past two years, he has been traveling throughout the US, presenting masterclasses on the life and music of Bill Evans, hosting showings of “Time Remembered”, Bruce Spiegel’s acclaimed documentary about jazz pianist Bill Evans. David also performs at jazz clubs and jazz festivals around the US, and will be the guest artist at the 2019 University of Akron Jazz Festival in March of 2019. His solo CD, Introspect, was met with critical acclaim, including reviews by Marc Myers of The Wall Street Journal and, and Grammy award-winning writer Neil Tesser of David currently resides in Medina, Ohio, where he teaches and performs when home from travels. See more about David at

At 3pm we will be screening “Time Remembered”, Bruce Spiegel’s acclaimed documentary about the life and music of Bill Evans. The film covers Bill’s entire life, from early childhood with his brother Harry, to his days with Miles Davis, and his seminal trios with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian; Chuck Israels, Eddie Gomez, Marty Morell, and Eliot Zigmund; and finally with Marc Johnson and Joe LaBarbera. The film is filled with footage of Bill’s performances and interviews, and conversations with Bill’s friends and fellow musicians about their time with him. Also appearing in the film are Paul Motian, Jim Hall, Bob Brookmeyer, Orrin Keepnews, Warren Bernhardt, Tony Bennett, Bill Charlap, Jon Hendricks, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette, Chuck Israels, Marty Morell, Marc Johnson, Joe LaBarbera, Billy Taylor, Laurie Verchomin and others.

Bruce Spiegel was a producer/editor at CBS News/48 Hours for 25 years. During that time, he produced, edited and directed a number of films and documentaries. In 2002 he co-produced the award-winning TV documentary “9-11” which won both an Emmy (2002) and Peabody Award (2003). In 2012, alongside Wynton Marsalis and Hugh Masakela (South African music legend), Spiegel co-produced a CBS News/48 Hours TV documentary titled “Nelson Mandela: Father of a Nation”. He spent eight years making “Time Remembered”, traveling all over the US to create this remarkable film, interviewing Bill’s friends, fellow musicians, and family members, to weave together this compelling, heartfelt story of Bill’s life and music. The film appeared in more than 50 film festivals worldwide in 2018, winning 18 awards. More can be seen at

Keri Johnsrud & Kevin Bales Present the Music of Fred Rogers
Apr 25 @ 8:00 pm
Chicago­-based vocalist Keri Johnsrud and GRAMMY nominated pianist Kevin Bales have come together once again for the release of their latest project Beyond the Neighborhood: The Music of Fred Rogers. Johnsrud and Bales have succeeded in reimagining and rearranging the music that has been heard by numerous generations on the beloved children’s television program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The songs, which up until now were specifically tailored for a child’s ear, are now presented as reinvented gems that are wise and wistful, simple but not simplistic, and even, in some cases, a bit sultry. In this collection, Mister Rogers’ songs not only relate to adults; they seem to have been written for adults in the first place.

“It pays tribute to Fred Rogers’ music and spirit in a fashion that glows with respect and carries over some of the powerful messages of the show itself. It’s delicate and moving and one of the highlights of the year’s music so far.” – Michael Bailey, All About Jazz

Keri Johnsrud

Kevin Bales
Brandon Ridenour and Jeremy Jordan: Trumpet and Piano Recital
Apr 26 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Brandon Ridenour and Jeremy Jordan: Trumpet and Piano Recital @ PianoForte Studios

The international trumpet virtuoso (and former Canadian Brass member) Brandon Ridenour teams up with Chicago’s own classical/jazz pianist Jeremy Jordan to perform both original compositions and works by Gershwin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Debussy, Lennon & McCartney, and Dave Brubeck.

Chad Lawson – re:piano
Apr 30 @ 7:30 pm
Chad Lawson - re:piano @ PianoForte Studios

A Steinway artist with multiple #1 releases, Chad Lawson has a different approach to classical music; don’t make it classical.  

His 2018 release, re:piano, pushes the envelope of the piano ’sounds’ like with the album composed of loops, effects and layers of textured landscapes.  all from a piano. Lawson was invited to share his approach to re:piano on NPR’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon and continues to garner press across the Globe.

In 2015, his release The Chopin Variations, caught the attention of CBS TV’s Sunday Morning,  NPR’s All Things Considered and PRI’s Performance Today.  Along with the violinist from Lady Gaga and the cellist from Kanye West, the trio has turned the classical world on its head as it has ‘deconstructed Chopin’ into a modern-day/minimalist landscape. The Huffington Post called it “Intricate elegance” while NPR’s All Things Considered said “You haven’t heard the Polish composer performed the way Chad Lawson plays him.”  Lawson simply wanted to re-introduce Chopin to the Spotify generation.  The generation where genres no longer apply.  The generation that hears only two styles of music; good or bad.

Chad is the official composer for the Amazon television series, Lore, in addition to the podcast titled the same. His music has also been used for The Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries, Viceland and numerous commercial placements have included clients such as IBM, Microsoft, Purina, Delta Airlines, USB Financial, Asprey of London and many more.

U.S. Tour Dates:

April 28, 2019 – Cathedral of the Incarnation / Garden City, NY

April 30, 2019  –  Pianoforte Foundation / Chicago, IL

May 8, 2019  – The Herbst Theatre / San Francisco, CA

US Media Contact:

Karen Lee @  Evolution Promotion

Text 617.285.1243 E:

“Evolution Promotion introduced the magic of Ludovico Einaudi to the US and his success story continues to defy musical boundaries around the globe. We are thrilled to embark on a new journey with extraordinary talent,

Chad Lawson, who is inspiring the Spotify Generation with his unique musical genius”  – Evolution Promotion

Miki Aoki: Piano Recital
May 9 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Miki Aoki: Piano Recital @ PianoForte Studios
Miki Aoki will perform works by J.S. Bach, Debussy, Takanobu Saito (Soundtracks from Ozu films), and Schumann.

Praised for “genuinely memorable performance” by BBC Music Magazine, pianist Miki Aoki is widely recognized for her diverse abilities as pianist and as a collaborative artist.

Ms. Aoki is recording exclusively for German Label Hänssler Profil. Her debut album of Zoltan Kodaly’s piano works was released in the fall of 2011 and won critical acclaim. The second CD, The Belyayev Project, featuring fascinating compositions varying from solo piano works by Liadow, Glazunov and Blumenfeld and the piano Trio by Rimsky-Korsakov was released in 2013. The Fanfare Magazine praised it as “graceful, expressive and transparent performance” and The Ensemble Magazine (Germany) wrote, “…pianist Miki Aoki interprets magically”. Her third CD, Mélancolie was released in May 2016 and was awarded a special prize by Japanese music magazine “Record Geijutsu”. Her newest recording Tokyo Story will be released in 2018.

A frequent guest artist of prestigious concert series and festivals around the world, Ms. Aoki has performed on the stages of St. Martin-in-the Fields, St. John’s Smith Square, the Royal Festival Hall and the Purcell Room at South Bank Centre, the Barbican centre, Blackheath Halls (UK), Laeizhalle Hamburg, Gasteig München, Philharmonie Essen, Beethovenssal Hannover (Germany), Philia Hall, Munetsugu Hall (Japan), Wiener-Saal (Austria), St-Petersburg Philharmonic Hall (Russia) as well as in festivals such as Mecklenburg-Vorpommen, Salzburger Festspiele, Rheingau Festival (Germany), Menuhin Festival Gstaad (Switzerland), International Chamber Music Festival Silver Lyre (Russia), Beaulieu-sur-la Mer (France), Valdres Festival (Norway), Copenhagen Summer Music Festival (Denmark), Steirisches Kammermusik Festival(Austria), Tembi Festival (Indonesia), Phnom Penh International Music festival (Cambodia) and International Classical Music Festival. (Myanmar).

Ms. Aoki has performed as soloist with National Symphony, London Soloist Chamber Orchestra, Hamburg Camerata, Washington Sinfonietta and Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México. The legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman invited Ms. Aoki to his Chamber Music festival in Long Island, USA in 2006. Ms Aoki’s performances have been broadcast on NDR-North German Radio, RBB-Radio Berlin, Brandenburg, BR Classics, WDR, Hessischer Rundfunk, Radio Suisse Romande, ORF Austria, Radio France, 98.7 WFMT Chicago, MPR Classic and ABC Classic FM Australia and BBC Radio 3.

Highlights of the previous season include a solo tour in South Africa as well as chamber music performances at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, Munetsugu Hall in Nagoya, and a solo recital at Philia Hall Yokohama. Ms. Aoki made her Mexico debut with Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México under maestro Enrique Bátiz in November 2016.

As a collaborative pianist Ms. Aoki has been invited by Heifetz International Music Institute in Virginia, International Summer Academy Mozarteum Salzburg (Austria) , Mattheiser Sommer-Akademie, International Summer Academy Bad Leondfelden, International Mendelssohn Summer School, International Violin Masterclasses at Kronberg Academy and KONTUREN Brühl (Germany). Ms. Aoki regularly plays for masterclasses of internationally renowned musicians including Yuri Bashmet, Christoph Eschenbach, Christian Tetzlaff, Maxim Vengerov and Tabea Zimmermann. Ms. Aoki is a faculty pianist at the prestigious Kronberg Academy in Germany. As a devoted educator, Ms Aoki has served as a faculty member at major European institutions including Hochschule für Music und Theater Hamburg (Germany) and Conservatoire de Lausanne (Switzerland). From 2012-2016 Ms Aoki worked full-time as a Senior Lecturer in Collaborative Piano at Kunstuniversität Graz in Austria.

Ms. Aoki moved to London at age 9 where she joined the Purcell School of Music. She holds degrees from Indiana University and Yale University. In 2007 Ms. Aoki obtained a distinction in the Konzertexamen degree at Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg.(Mit Auszeichnung). Her main teachers were Roshan Magub, James Gibb, Reiko Neriki, György Sebök, Boris Berman and Evgeni Koroliov.

Ms. Aoki is currently a teaching assistant at SUNY Stony Brook in New York where she is pursuing DMA under the guidance of Gilbert Kalish.

Christine Steyer & Jean-Claude Orfali: The Sweet Spot Between Our Worlds
May 11 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Christine Steyer & Jean-Claude Orfali: The Sweet Spot Between Our Worlds @ PianoForte Studios

Christine Steyer, soprano Jean-Claude Orfali, piano with Claudia Hommel, soprano will perform works by Kurt Weill, John Jacob Niles, French Songs & premiere of New Songs by Steyer & Orfali.

The concert will run from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM with a short intermission.

Regular tickets $25 in advance/$30 at door.
Student tickets $15 in advance/$20 at door.
VIP tickets $50/not available at the door.
No refunds or exchanges available for this event.

Christine Steyer, soprano, has distinguished herself as an artist of great versatility. In addition to being the recent recipient of seven national performance awards including the 2018 American Prize Chicago Oratorio Award and 2011 Johnny Mercer Award, Steyer has received acclaim for her portrayals of the title role in Madama Butterfly and Violetta in La Traviata. Steyer recently sang for the Cuban Ambassador and was the featured artist for the American Opera Society Gala. She can be heard on the CD Voices of the Sacred produced by SoundsTrue. A frequent recitalist, Steyer sang with pianists Philip Morehead, Marta Johnson and guitarist Brandon Acker. Since 2000, she has sung as a chorister and in several small roles in 40 productions at Lyric Opera of Chicago. As a proponent of new works, she collaborated with numerous poets and musicians to publish Six Songs for Soprano and is collaborating on a book of cabaret songs with Jean-Claude Orfali.

Jean-Claude Orfali (Paris) has participated in many international events and piano concerts around the world. Pianist, composer, conductor, Jean-Claude comes from a family of musicians. For many years he has played regularly in Paris at venues such as Le George V, le Plaza-Athénée et le Bristol. He appears frequently at the oldest Parisian artistic cabaret Lapin Agile. He serves as pianist and instructor for the Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion. He performs as a solo pianist, as part of small jazz groups and has led the Parisian Big Band “BB15”. He has composed and performed for film.

Presented by

Adam Birnbaum/Chris Madsen Duo
May 16 @ 7:30 pm
Adam Birnbaum/Chris Madsen Duo @ PianoForte Studios

New York-based pianist Adam Birnbaum and Chicago saxophonist Chris Madsen reunite for a one-night-only performance of jazz standards. Having attended the Juilliard School together and recorded in the mid-2000s, the two are excited to join forces once again after many years apart.

Christopher Madsen’s credits as a saxophonist include performances and recordings with Paul Simon, Bobby Short, Wynton Marsalis, Victor Goines, Jeff Hamilton, Lage Lund, Michael Dease, Ulysses Owens, Ben Williams, Marquis Hill, Jon Irabagon, and countless others. He is a published composer with Kendor Music, Inc., the UNC Jazz Press, and Walrus Music. From 2008 to 2014, he served as Jazz Studies Coordinator for Northwestern University and is currently Jazz Studies faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Wisconsin at Parkside. A graduate of the Juilliard and DePaul University music schools, Madsen is also a Vandoren and Conn-Selmer artist and member of the College Music Society, NAfME, National Educator’s Association, and JEN. He has presented clinics, conducted ensembles, and performed around the U.S. and the world.  He is one of the most in-demand and versatile saxophonists in Chicago, maintaining an active performance schedule and private studio. For more information, visit

Adam Birnbaum is emerging as one of the top young voices in jazz piano. Since arriving on the New York scene in 2003, he has become increasingly prominent performing in clubs and festivals around the world, working with artists as diverse as Greg Osby, Al Foster, Wynton Marsalis, Cecile Mclorin Salvant, and The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

Adam’s early education took place in Boston. In 2001 Adam became a member of the inaugural class of Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School. After graduating in 2003, Adam won the American Jazz Piano Competition in May 2004 to become the American Pianists Association’s Cole Porter fellow in Jazz.  Since then Adam has established a busy performing career as a sideman and as a leader. “Three Of A Mind, Adam’s latest album as a leader, was hailed as “an eloquent dispatch from the heart of the contemporary piano trio tradition” by the New York Times.

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Live Webcast

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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:

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.

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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.

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.

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