RESCHEDULED – Sandra Shapiro | Piano Recital: In My Father’s Footsteps  —  A Daughter’s Search for Answers

March 9, 2018 @ 7:30 pm
PianoForte Studios
1335 South Michigan Ave
IL 60605
RESCHEDULED - Sandra Shapiro | Piano Recital: In My Father’s Footsteps  --  A Daughter’s Search for Answers @ PianoForte Studios

Due to inclement weather near Sandra’s home this concert, originally scheduled for January 13th, has been rescheduled for March 9th.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Tickets purchased for this concert will be honored on that date. If you purchased a ticket and would like a refund please contact

In My Father’s Footsteps  —  A Daughter’s Search for Answers

Anatol Lyadov (1855 – 1914)
Two Mazurkas, Op. 15 (1887)
Mazurka in A Major – Allegretto
Mazurka in D minor – Allegro

 Mazurka Rustique in G major, Op. 31 #1 (1893)

Frédéric Chopin (1810 – 1849)
Barcarolle in F-sharp Major, Op. 60 (1845)

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1942)
Variations on a theme of Corelli, Op. 42 (1931)


Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828)
Sonata No. 21 in B-flat Major, D. 960 (1828)
I. Molto moderato
II. Andante sostenuto
III. Allegro vivace con delicatezza. Trio
IV. Allegro ma non troppo


In My Father’s Footsteps-A Daughter’s Search for Answers is the first narrative in a four-part project titled Musical Roots: An Exploration of Cultural Heritage and Musical Influences.

The project had its genesis in 2004 upon discovering a very old letter from Moscow written to my father and my attempt to locate its author. Born in Russia in 1923, my father died when I was quite young. Never having known him as an adult, and with my curiosity piqued, I began my quest to learn about his life and journey to America which traversed five continents. In My Father’s Footsteps is the story of discovering the man called ”Abba” (Hebrew for father), by tracing his journey through life. His story became my story and the impetus to explore my cultural heritage and musical influences.

Finding answers to my many questions proved to be challenging due to the chaos of  war-times records as well as limited access to records located in Russia. However with time, what I was able to discover was a story beyond anything I could have imagined. My father’s life unfolded as a fantastic portrayal of courage and perseverance in pursuing his dreams.

Questions were answered and new discoveries about his life came via hours of research through archives as well as through personal accounts relayed to me. I was fortunate to eventually find and meet the author of the letter that began this journey, as well as people who knew him or his family in Russia.

The biggest discovery arrived last April when someone “found” me via my website and contacted me. She was writing her family memoirs and had devoted an entire chapter to my father who was their family doctor when she was a child in a displaced person’s camp in Germany. The family developed a very close relationship with my father that continued until he passed away.

It was through her that I learned he escaped from the Russian Army into which he was drafted to serve as a medic while he was still a student studying medecine in Odessa. When the army was stationed in Berlin, he learned that he was going to be sent back to Russian and placed in a Gulag. With a great deal of help, he was able to manage a daring escape to an American army base in Augsburg, Germany. In Augsburg, it was detrmined that he was eligible for refugee status and was placed in the Foehrenwald DP Camp where he served as a doctor.

From Foehrenwald, he was relocated for a brief time to Argentina via an incredible boat trip around Africa which completely redefined his world as he knew it. From Argentina he was recruited to the newly formed Israel where he met and married my mother, and shortly after my brother was born, they came to America where I was born.

The culmination of this exploration and incredible journey inspired me to create a series of four stories relayed via musical narratives (recitals). The first two narratives explore the roles of my Russian and Israeli cultural heritage, the third narrative is devoted to my musical influences, and the final one addresses composers who either immigrated to America or were exiled to other countries, and composers who visited other countries and were influenced compositionally by their cultures.

The music presented in this recital will reflect what I was able to learn about my father’s life, and is dedicated to all who have found the courage to pursue their dreams for a better life for themselves and/or their families.


“A sensitive, passionate and noble Muse…Compelling…Brilliant…Liquid sound and colors..Great artistry…”, are descriptions that have been attributed to pianist, Sandra Shapiro.

Ms. Shapiro enjoys an active career as performer, teacher, adjudicator and recording artist throughout the United States and Europe. Known as a versatile performer, she appears as soloist both in recitals and with orchestras, and as a highly sought-after chamber musician in the Unted States and Europe. She has received national and international awards along with glowing reviews and recognition in each of these areas.

This season marks the debut of Ms. Shapiro’s four-part project entitled: “Musical Roots-An Exploration of Cultural Heritage and Musical Influences”.  As the daughter and sister of Russian-Israeli immigrants, Ms. Shapiro has devoted Parts I and II of the project to examine the role each of these cultures has had in shaping her musical orientation and has chosen musical works to reflect her family’s journey and rich heritage. Further information about the project, can be found on Ms. Shapiro’s website:

Ms. Shapiro began her studies at the age of three and a half, and by age 11, was performing in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras. Because of her prodigious talent, Ms. Shapiro left home at age 15 to study at the Juilliard School upon the recommendation of her mentor, Gina Bachauer. Her teacher’s and greatest musical influsences include Leon Fleisher, John Perry, Nadia Reisenberg, Pierre Sancan and Guido Agosti.

Ms. Shapiro’s performances have taken her throughout most major cities in the United States and Europe. She has been featured in radio and television productions for RIAS Berlin; Sudwestfunk Radio Production, PBS; WQXR, NPR McGrawHill Young Artist Showcase, Australian Broadcasting Commission and NPR.

As a soloist, orchestral appearances include the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Stuttgart Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Belgrade String Orchestra, Brevard Festival Orchestra, Florida Symphony, San Angelo Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Everett Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, as well as Cleveland Orchestra appearances at both Severance Hall and the Blossom Music Festival.

The laureate of many National and International Competitions, awards and prizes include First Prizes in the Young Musician’s Foundation National Debut Competition, and The World Piano Competition, as well as a laureate in the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition. Other recognitions include the “Outstanding Chamber Musician Award” from the University of Southern California, and the “Young Maestro Award” from the Peabody Institute of Music.

As a member of the renowned duo-piano team of Hecht & Shapiro, other laureates include winning the Munich International Duo Piano Competition, the Ellis National Duo Piano Competition, and top prizes in the Dranoff International Two Piano Competition, and the International Jeunesses Musicales Competition.

Her great love for chamber music has led to collaborations with Truls Mork, Peter Rejto, Stanley Drucker, Mats Lidstrom, Franklin Cohen, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson and members of the New York Philharmonic on the New York Philharmonic’s Chamber Music Series.

Ms. Shapiro has performed extensively as a duo with Czech violinist, Ivan Zenaty. Their partnership has taken them throughout Europe, Asia and the United States. Highlights include recitals at Carnegie Hall, the Prague Spring Festival, Czech Philharmonic Chamber Music Series in the famed Rudolfinum, and the Palau de la Música de Valencia.

The duo’s first joint recording consisting of the Strauss Sonata and Martinu Sonata H.303. received a rave review from Gramophone Magazine’s feature of highlights in September, citing “they breathe as one, shaping phrases with utmost unanimity of purpose and flexibility..whets the appetite for more of their distinctive artistry”.

Additional recordings include “Sentimiento” on the Azica label as well as a collaboration with the principal wind players of the New York Philharmonic in an album entitled “The Complete Music of Robert Schumann for Winds and Piano”.

An experienced and recognized teacher, Ms. Shapiro is highly sought-after for master classes, symposiums, faculty and student evaluations, and adjudication both nationally and internationally. Her students have garnered awards and top prizes in numerous competitions, as well as securing positions in highly-regarded schools and universities.

As a member of the Artist-Teaching faculty, Ms. Shapiro’s summer residencies have included the Montecito International Music Festival and continue with MusicFest Perugia. She is a member of the Piano and Chamber Music faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music, former Visiting Chamber Music Teaching Artist at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and an alumni teaching artist for The Juilliard-Nord Anglia Global Partnership Program.

Ms. Shapiro is a Steinway Artist.