February 2023


Massachusetts - New York

Works spanning four centuries are

presented in Classical Music Chicago's

March 2023

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts

Pianists Chelsea Wang, Ariel Lanyi, Christine Wu,

and flutist Meghan Bennett with pianist Maria Lyapkova

perform in the popular noontime, free to the public concerts

Performances include works by Bach, Wild, Haydn, Lennon/McCarthy, Coleman, Boulanger, and more

Wang; Lanyi, Wu, Bennett and Lyapkova.

Popular works for solo piano from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, a work by two members of the Beatles, and pieces by celebrated women composers are put in the spotlight in Classical Music Chicago's (CMC's) March 2023 nationally acclaimed noontime Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts series. Free to the public since its launch in 1977, and taking place each Wednesday of the month, the free performances offer dynamic programs featuring such works as Earl Wild's Virtuosic Etude after Gershwin’s “Embraceable You," Haydn's remarkable Sonata in C Major, Lennon and McCarney's widely known Golden Slumber from the Beatles' 1969 album "Abbey Road," (arranged by Takemitsu), Valerie Coleman's melodic Requiem Milonga for flute and piano, and one of the best-loved 19th century cello sonatas, Grieg's Sonata for Cello and Piano in A minor, to name but a few.

One of the country's forerunners in accessibility, creativity and inspiration, the Chicago Tribune has praised the series as "one of the nation's premier springboards for gifted young classical musicians."



12:15 PM

Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist, Chicago - 55 E. Wacker Drive

March 1, 2023

Chelsea Wang, piano


French Suite no. 5 in G Major, BWV 816


Sonata in F major, K. 533/494


Virtuosic Etude after Gershwin’s “Embraceable You”

Praised by The New York Times as an “excellent young pianist,” Chelsea Wang has performed extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia, appearing overseas in such venues as Konzerthaus Berlin, Munich’s Allerheiligen-Hofkirche, Konzertsaal at Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber, Dresden Hochschule fur Musik, Auditori Teulada Moraira in Spain, Chamber Hall of Warsaw Philharmonic, Seoul Arts Center, Taipei National Concert Hall, Kaohsiung Weiwuying Center for the Arts, and Taitung Cultural Performing Arts Center. U.S. venues include Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center, New York’s Merkin Hall, Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and more. A native of West Des Moines, Iowa Ms. Wang is a prizewinner and finalist of many national and international piano competitions including the Seoul International Piano competition, Washington International Piano Competition, New York International Piano Competition, Schubert Club Scholarship Competition, to name a few.

March 1 - Dame Myra Hess Classical Music Chicago

March 8, 2023

Ariel Lanyi, piano

Joseph HAYDN

Sonata in C Major, Hob XVI: 48

I. Andante con espressione; II. Rondo. Presto


Prelude, Aria et final

I. Prelude; II. Aria; III. Final

In 2021 Ariel Lanyi won 3rd Prize (The Roslyn Lyons Bronze Medal) at the Leeds International Piano Competition, performing Brahms Concerto No.2 with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrew Manze in the Finals. In the same year he was a prize winner in the inaugural Young Classical Artists Trust (London) and Concert Artists Guild (New York) International Auditions. Born in Jerusalem and now based in the UK, this season Lanyi records Mozart with the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, and gives recitals at the Kissinger Festsommer, Fundaçion Juan March in Madrid, Wigmore Hall and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. In addition, he undertakes tours of Argentina and the USA. 

March 8 - Dame Myra Hess Classical Music Chicago

March 15, 2023

Christine Wu, piano


Three Piano Pieces, D. 946


Les années de pèlerinage, Deuxième année: Italie, S. 161

VI. Sonetto 123 del Petrarca

Franz SCHUBERT; arr. Franz Liszt

Der Müller und der Bach, S. 565

LENNON/McCARTHY; arr. Tōru Takemitsu

Golden Slumbers

Praised in The New York Times by chief music critic Anthony Tommasini for her “arresting” playing, American pianist Christine Wu has performed in concert venues throughout North America and Europe, including Merkin Hall, the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, Petit Palau de la Música Catalana, and Théâtre du Châtelet. A former member of the Frankfurt-based International Ensemble Modern Akademie, she has played in major contemporary music festivals including the Lucerne Festival, ManiFeste Paris, and Time of Music Festival in Viitasaari, Finland, and premiered over 20 new works. She is the third prize winner of the Ettore Pozzoli International Piano Competition.

March 15 - Dame Myra Hess Classical Music Chicago

March 22, 2023

Meghan Bennett flute and Maria Lyapkova, piano

Cécile CHAMINADE Concertino for flute and piano


Requiem Milonga


Sonate pour flûte et piano

I. Andante con moto; II. Vivace; III. Adagio; IV. Moderato


D’un matin de printemps

Meghan Bennett has performed with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Waco Symphony Orchestra, Round Rock Symphony and the Palmetto Opera Orchestra. She has been a recipient of fellowships to attend the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Brevard Music Center, Marrowstone Music Festival, National Music Festival and Spoleto Festival USA. An Assistant Professor of Flute at California State University, Fresno, Bennett was awarded top prizes in the South Carolina Flute Society Young Artist Competition, Morning, Afternoon and Eau Claire Music Club Competition, Atlanta Flute Club Young Artist Competition, Flute Society of Kentucky Young Artist Competition and Greater Philadelphia Flute Society Collegiate Young Artist Competition. Bennett has competed in the National Flute Association Young Artist Competition and the Fischoff Competition. She is a William S. Haynes Artist and performs on a handmade custom Haynes flute.

A native of Moscow, Russia, Maria Lyapkova has appeared at international music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival & School (United States), Spotlight on Young Musicians (France), and the Music of Norway (Norway/Russia). An accomplished collaborative pianist, she has performed with principals of leading orchestras such as the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and The Bolshoi Theatre. Currently, Maria serves as a Director of Collaborative Piano at the DePauw University School of Music. She made the first recording of the sonatas for keyboard and obligato violin by forgotten German composer A. F. Titz on a historical fortepiano. As a proponent of new music, Lyapkova has worked with prominent composers such as Gunther Schuller, Joseph Schwantner, and Bair Dondokov.

March 22 - Dame Myra Hess Classical Music Chicago

March 29, 2023

Michael Katz, cello and Victor Asuncion, piano

Rebecca CLARKE

Passacaglia on an Old English Tune

Edvard GRIEG

Sonata for Cello and Piano in A minor Op. 36

Manuel de FALLA; arr. G. Piatigorsky

Danza ritual del fuego

Hailed by Strad Magazine for his “bold, rich sound,” and The New York Times for his “nuanced musicianship,” Grammy-nominated cellist Michael Katz has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in venues such as Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, David Geffen Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Kimmel Center, Lucerne KKL, Tokyo’s Oji Hall, and Jerusalem’s Henry Crown Auditorium. High in demand as a chamber musician, Mr. Katz has collaborated and performed with artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Anthony Marwood, Donald Weilerstein, Peter Frankl, Roger Tapping, and Charles Neidich.

Praised by The Washington Post for his “poised and imaginative playing,” pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion has appeared in concert halls in Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain, Turkey and the USA, as a recitalist and concerto soloist. A chamber music enthusiast, he has performed with artists such as Lynn Harrell, Zuill Bailey, Andres Diaz, Antonio Meneses, Joshua Roman, Cho-Liang Lin, and many others. Asuncion is a Steinway artist.

March 29 - Dame Myra Hess Classical Music Chicago

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts - Classical Music Chicago

The concerts are generously sponsored by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, and by individual donors.

"one of the nation's premier springboards for gifted young classical musicians"

 -Chicago Tribune

"...no city can consider itself a world-class arts center unless fine music is also regularly available in a pleasant setting at bargain prices" 

-Chicago Sun-Times

About Classical Music Chicago

Unconventional. Innovative. Creative. Classic. 

Since 1976, Classical Music Chicago (CMC) has offered a variety of unforgettable classical music performances by up and coming and established artists throughout the Chicago community. A celebrated innovator from the very beginning and one of the first to focus on the importance of accessibility, presenting engaging concerts in various formats and venues free of charge, CMC is the 2016 union of two distinguished Chicago music institutions: the International Music Foundation (IMC), founded by Chicagoan Al Booth, and Rush Hour Concerts (RHC) founded by pianist and civic leader Deborah Sobol in 2000. Over the next few seasons, CMC will celebrate landmark anniversaries of each of its acclaimed series, beginning with the year-long 25th anniversary of the Rush Hour Concerts in 2024-2025, the 50th Anniversary of the Do-It-Yourself Messiah concert in 2025, and the 50th anniversary of the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in fall 2026.

IMF comprised the Do-It-Yourself Messiah at Orchestra Hall begun in 1976, and the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, modeled on the series launched by Dame Myra Hess during World War II, to provide young artists with a performance outlet and present top caliber concerts free to the public. Begun in 1977, such acclaimed musicians as sopranos Elizabeth Frutal, June Anderson and Jo Ann Pickens; baritone Richard Cowan; oboist Alex Klein; guitarists Eliot Fisk and Paul Henry; violinists Rachel Barton Pine, Jennifer Frautschi, Jennifer Koh, Robyn Bollinger, Tessa Lark; cellists Steven Isserlis, Nathanel Rosen, Jeffrey Solow and Bion Tsang; pianists David Shrader, Jeffrey Kahane, Angela Hewitt, Barry Douglas, Daniel Trifonov, and Max Levinson; and ensembles including the Vermeer Quartet, the Chicago Bassoon Quartet, His Majesties Clerkes, the Enzo String Quartet, and Orchestra Sinfonica Haydn di Bolzano e Trentoto, to name a few, have graced the Hess stage. In 1982, Live Music Now! - currently Young People’s Concerts - was founded by Booth with the assistance of his friend Yehudi Menuhin to bring professional musicians into the Chicago Public Schools. Students in grades K – 8 experience live performances, which have grown to reach more than 90 Chicago Public Schools annually.

Rush Hour Concerts, begun in 2000 as a welcoming summer concert format that removed accessibility barriers, in 2011 introduced Make Muisc Chicago, a citywide, daylong celebration of music making held on the summer solstice. It was followed by the addition of a professional ensemble residency program in Chicago’s neighborhoods in 2012.  

The latest addition to Classical Music Chicago’s roster of offerings is The Concerts for Well-being and Rejuvenation, bringing the healing power of music to people and places who do not have access to live performances. CMC partners onsite with health care facilities, community centers, meals programs and other organizations where music can make a vital difference. promoting community, creative interaction and therapeutic benefits through 45-minute interactive performances followed by a Q & A with the artists.


Press Contact:

Laura Grant, Grant Communications