Five students of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music will perform at Symphony Center as part of Chicago’s three-week Keys to the City Piano Festival in May and June.

The festival, sponsored by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and curated by renowned pianist Emanuel Ax, will celebrate the many facets of the piano and the role it has played and continues to play in our society. Between May 23 and June 12, some of the world’s most acclaimed and innovative pianists will appear in a lineup of events that will include recitals, chamber music and symphonic concerts. At four of these concerts, some of the most promising piano students from Northwestern University, Roosevelt University, and The Music Institute of Chicago will be featured in preconcert recitals preceding that day’s featured concert.

On June 1 at 11:45 a.m., three Bienen School pianists will give solo performances at their pre-concert event:

  • Xiaomin Liang, a doctoral student of associate professor Sylvia Wang, will play Frederic Chopin’s Ballade No. 3, op. 47.
  • Eugenia Jeong, a doctoral student of associate professor James Giles, will play “Los Requiebros” from Enrigue Granados’ Goyescas suite for piano.
  • Yingying Su, a doctoral student of associate professor Alan Chow, will perform Alexander Scriabin’s Piano Sonata No. 2 in G-sharp minor.

On June 2 at 6:30 p.m., cellist Richard Narroway, a junior and student of Professor Hans Jørgen Jensen, and pianist Sergiy Komirenko, a doctoral student of Professor Giles, will perform the Rachmaninoff Cello Sonata in G Minor, op. 19. Narroway and Komirenko were coached for this performance by Elizabeth Buccheri, senior lecturer in piano at Bienen School.

The student recitals are free of charge, but note that the featured performance that follows will require paid admission. That program will feature the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Ludovic Morlot, and pianist Stewart Goodyear. The program will include Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnol, Messiaen’s Trois petites liturgies de la Présence Divine, and Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain.

Symphony Center is located at 220 S. Michigan Ave. In Chicago. For complete festival information and to purchase tickets, visit

  • Sylvia Wang
  • James Giles
  • Hans Jensen