PianoKids Brings Music to Cleveland’s Schools

PianoKidsCIPC’s ArtsConnect program, working in partnership with the Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association, has launched PianoKids, a new music outreach project that is bringing top-tier, professional artists to Cleveland students who have limited access to concert performances.

Ten Cleveland Metropolitan School District schools are participating in the 2015/16 PianoKids program, which is being sponsored by PNC Bank. Approximately 1,200 children in grades pre-K and K will experience live performances, musical storytelling, and hands-on learning with three musicians and their instruments. Each school will receive two visits during the school year: one in the late fall to introduce musical concepts, and one in the spring to build on what they have learned.

Andris Koh (cello); Aniela Eddy (violin); and Natsumi Shibagaki (piano) will work with the children at the ten schools. All three are well-established teachers of young musicians in the city and have been involved with ArtsConnect for several years. “Andris, Aniela, and Natsumi are ideally suited for the PianoKids program,” said Sophié van der Westhuizen, Director of ArtsConnect. “They have a wonderful ability to connect with children and make the music fun and child-friendly.”

Allison Wallace, Executive Director of the Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association, has served as the project’s liaison with the School District, helping to identify the participating schools and organize the visits. “ArtsConnect and the Neighborhood Centers Association have worked together on several projects,” Ms. van der Westhuizen said. “It’s a wonderful partnership that we hope will continue to bring high quality music education to the city’s children for many years to come.”


In Memoriam

Richard Manuel, Constance Curtiss Manuel, and 2007 third prize winner Alexandre Moutouzkine.
Richard Manuel, Constance Curtiss Manuel, and 2007 third prize winner Alexandre Moutouzkine.

Constance Curtiss Manuel, known to her many friends at the CIPC as Connie, died in June at the age of 96. She was a sixth generation Clevelander, descended from the earliest settlers of our nation. Mrs. Manuel attended Laurel School in Shaker Heights, Simmons College in Boston, and Western Reserve Medical School. She completed her residency and internship at University Hospitals in Cleveland, specializing in endocrinology and internal medicine. She taught at Western Reserve University and University Hospitals, and served for many years on the boards of several local hospitals.

In 1960, she married Richard A. Manuel, and the two enjoyed a lifetime of happiness together. They shared a love of travel and music, joining in support and leadership of the Cleveland International Piano Competition for many years. They endowed the CIPC’s third prize cash award and have provided significant support for the Knowlton Second Prize. Mr. Manuel, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 97, served on the board of directors and Mrs. Manuel was named an honorary director.

All of us at the CIPC remember them both with great fondness and are deeply grateful for their years of support. They will be missed.


Pierre van der Westhuizen to Appear on “Living the Classical Life”

Pierre van der Westhuizen in the studio with Zsolt Bognár.
Pierre van der Westhuizen in the studio with Zsolt Bognár.

CIPC President and CEO Pierre van der Westhuizen will appear this fall on Living the Classical Life, hosted by pianist Zsolt Bognár. The program features in-depth interviews and one-of-a-kind performances with the people who are shaping the world of today’s classical music. Watch our e-newsletters and Facebook page for the release date. In the meantime, view past episodes of this outstanding program HERE.


Local Public Funding Supports the Work of CIPC

artsOver the past eight years, the Cleveland International Piano Competition has received nearly $590,000 dollars in support from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, which has helped make the CIPC one of the most spectacular events in Northeast Ohio. This type of funding strengthens our community, and enriches the quality of life in our neighborhoods for people of all ages. We’d like to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about this extremely important funding partner.

The financial support received from the residents of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture has been instrumental in recent changes to the CIPC that have had a major impact on the audience experience. This includes moving the solo rounds to the Cleveland Museum of Art, which, in turn, allowed for the addition of a major opening event in the Ames Family Atrium, a film series, guest artist concerts, panel discussions and pre-concert talks, and other audience-friendly activities.

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture is the public funder of arts and culture organizations, programs and events in Cuyahoga County. Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s sole funding source is a dedicated cigarette tax levied within Cuyahoga County. Established by voters in 2007, CAC has awarded over 1,200 grants since then, distributing over $125 million in tax dollars to more than 300 organizations based in the county.

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s sole funding source is a dedicated tax within Cuyahoga County. Renewal of this funding source will be on the ballot on November 3 for voters to consider. Please take a few minutes to learn more about this important source of public funding and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture by visiting their website: cacgrants.org.


Free Summer Concert Series Returns

Summer%20concertv1CIPC’s hugely popular Summer Concert Series at the Beachwood Community Center will return with its first concert on Thursday, June 18 at 6:15 pm.  This first in a series of nine concerts, all of which will be held at the same time on consecutive Thursday nights, will feature Ariel Clayton (violin), Andris Koh (cello), and Emily Grabinski (piano).

The series is a collaboration between the City of Beachwood and CIPC ArtsConnect, the music outreach program of the Cleveland International Piano Competition, which works with top-tier musicians throughout the year to bring concerts to nursing homes, hospices, community centers, and schools.  Steinway Piano Gallery of Cleveland is providing the pianos for every concert. Continue reading


CIPC to present free childrens’ concerts

CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALSLions, kangaroos, tortoises, elephants, and other exotic animals will enchant Cleveland school children early this summer in a very unexpected way, as the CIPC presents two free performances of Camille Saint-Saëns’ kid-friendly Carnival of the Animals.

The work, which is a musical depiction of animals engaging in their own high-spirited parade, is hugely popular and will immediately sound familiar to many in the audience.  It has been featured in movies such as Disney’s Fantasia 2000 and Charlotte’s Web, as well as a cartoon featuring Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.  It is a time-honored and thoroughly entertaining way to introduce young children to classical music. Continue reading


Professional Musicians Available Through CIPC

CIPC ArtsConnect, the music outreach program that provides top-level musical performances to communities, schools, and health care facilities, works with an amazing roster of dedicated artists who are based in Northeast Ohio.  World-class jazz, classical, and cabaret-style instrumentalists and vocalists provide their time and talent to ArtsConnect, in between their own professional engagements and, in many cases, teaching careers.

Virtually all of these artists are available for performances in private homes and other private or corporate events.  Anyone looking for classically trained artists that are a cut above the rest, may contact Sophié van der Westhuizen, Director of ArtsConnect, [email protected].


A Year of Change for ArtsConnect

photo_1cipc_arts_connect_2-5phd1Just about one year ago, in January 2014, the Cleveland International Piano Competition launched a new program called CIPC ArtsConnect. The program had its roots in Access to the Arts, an organization that was searching for new direction following the death of its founder, Graham Grund. At the time, the program provided concerts for nursing homes in Northeast Ohio using volunteer students from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Changes have abounded in the past year. While still providing concerts in nursing homes, hospice care facilities, hospitals, and senior communities, under the leadership of Director Sophié van der Westhuizen, the program has grown exponentially. CIPC ArtsConnect is now bringing music to a much larger and more diverse part of the community. Continue reading


Catching Up With Our Four Medalists

CIPC will present one of the best concerts of the year on August 23, as all four medalists from the 2013 Competition take the stage together, along with Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra, in what can only be described as a musical extravaganza. Jeannette Sorrell will conduct.

In advance of the concert we wanted to give readers an update on the recent activities of these busy pianists. Read on, and then come to the concert to hear their extraordinary gifts for yourself! Continue reading


A Perfect Summer Evening!

barbershopRelive the sounds of American Barbershop as performed by delightful, seasoned professionals at Perfect Harmony, CIPC’s third PianoPalooza of the year.  This special event, hosted by Janet and Paul Havener, is an absolute must for anyone who loves the nostalgic sound of barbershop music, an a cappella style characterized by precise harmonies and ringing chords. Continue reading