The Hotchkiss School is pleased to present the 2019 Hunt Concert, established in 2000 by the Tang family in honor of Annette Hunt for her 24 years of service as an instructor of music at The Hotchkiss School. This year, Fabio and Gisele Witkowski, the Witkowski Piano Duo will perform Saturday, April 6 at 7 p.m. in Katherine M. Elfers Hall, Esther Eastman Music Center. Fabio Witkowski is director of the music program and chair of the department of visual and performing arts at Hotchkiss; Gisele Witkowski is instructor in piano. The duo will perform an exciting program for piano four-hands and two pianos, including works by Schubert, Lutoslawski, Rachmaninov, and Milhaud. The concert is free and open to the public; no ticket reservations are necessary.
Witkowski Piano Duo
Brazilian pianists Fabio and Gisele Witkowski have been sharing stages around the world as the Witkowski Piano Duo. Accomplished pianists and dedicated educators, the Witkowskis are admired for their vibrant and dynamic four-hands and two piano recitals. They have performed in several prestigious venues, such as the Gardens of Villa Rufolo in Ravello, Italy, at the Kennedy Center, in Washington, D.C., at The Symphony Hall, in Shanghai, at the Shenzhen Concert Hall, at Carnegie Hall, in New York, in addition to numerous recitals in the USA, South America, Russia, Israel, Asia, and Europe. The New York Concert Review has described their playing as “showing marvelous rubato and tremendously clean playing, with a lovely sense of tone”.
Individually, they have performed with the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina, Santo André Symphony, São Bernardo Philharmonic Orchestra, Hartt Symphony Orchestra, Piracicaba Symphony Orchestra, Rio Claro Philharmonic Orchestra, Wallingford Symphony Orchestra, and the Paulista Symphony Orchestra. As chamber players their performances include appearances with the Emerson String Quartet, The Guarneri Quartet, the Fine Arts Quartet, The Amerigo Trio, the São Paulo String Quartet, and cellist Robert deMaine, among others. Mrs. Witkowski’s Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall solo recital debut was hailed as “the most genuinely fascinating recital debut in many a moon,” (New York Concert Review). Mr. Witkowski’s playing has been described as having “many passages of bravura, sensitivity, and pearly agility” (The Hartford Courant).
Concomitantly to their performing careers, they enjoy a busy academic life, both teaching at the Hotchkiss School, where Mr. Witkowski is the Head of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and Director of the music program. Mr. Witkowski holds a cum laude BM and MM from the Hartt School of Music. Mrs. Witkowski received her Masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the Hartt School of Music. Mr. and Mrs. Witkowski have appeared as guest artists and professors in numerous music festivals, including the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy, the Granada Piano Festival in Spain, Krasnogorsk Music Festival in Russia, the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival and Hotchkiss Summer Portals in the USA, and the São João del Rey, Belém, Londrina, and Ourinhos Music Festivals in Brazil. They are currently co-directors of the Hotchkiss in Florence Piano Program in Italy and the Hotchkiss Piano Summer Portals in the USA.
Mr. and Mrs. Witkowski frequently serve as judges of several piano competitions – they recently judged the 18th International Piano Competition Composers of Spain, in Madrid, and the 31st Cidade de Ferrol International Piano Competition (Spain), where they also performed the opening ceremony recital. Their students have also received various prizes in national and international piano competitions.
One of the duo’s latest projects included performances of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with the Bowen McCauley dance company, celebrating the 100 year anniversary of this masterpiece. According to the Washington Post, “Fabio and Gisele Witkowski played the four-hand piano arrangement as if they possessed the very paws of Fate.”
Esther Eastman Music Center
The Esther Eastman Music Center celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2015. A LEED-certified building adjoining The Hotchkiss School's main building and completed in 2005, the Center is home to state-of-the art music facilities and the Katherine M. Elfers Hall — a breathtaking concert hall with world-class acoustics. The hall has become one of the area’s main cultural destinations, offering student and guest concerts throughout the year, all free of charge. The guest concert series has welcomed an acclaimed roster of international musicians, including the Fine Arts Quartet, violinists Midori and Glenn Dicterow, cellist Robert deMaine, pianists Boris Berman, Olga Kern, Leon Fleisher, and Guarneri String Quartet, among many others.
The Hotchkiss School
Founded in 1891, The Hotchkiss School is a coeducational boarding school located at 11 Interlaken Road in Lakeville, Connecticut. Katherine M. Elfers Hall, Esther Eastman Music Center is situated in the lower level of the main building. For more information about this and other arts events at The Hotchkiss School call 860-435-4423.