Artists around the world perform and talk about their music in these times.

AUGUST 1, 2023

Music Mondays - About Ruth

"In 1988 Loretta and I traveled to Moscow to judge duo pianists for the first U.S. two-piano competition held at the UM School of Music. Although Murray and Loretta Dranoff were successful national performers, the notion of two-piano literature and performance was underplayed across the States. This mission took us to many musical ports of call, Paris and Berlin, always searching for the magic of two pianists in debate, discussion, argumentation, and harmony. My ears were jeweled working with Loretta playing Rachmaninoff, Mozart and Bartok."

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JULY 17, 2023

Music Mondays - Stormy weather

Franz Schubert arr. Franz Liszt
Yuja Wang

Angel City Chorale

Weather affects many parts of our daily life. This week, it brought thunder, lightening, torrents of rain, flooding. Storms. The body of classical music has been inspired by storms, the sounds of rhythms, the danger. Their magnificence. .

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JULY 10, 2023

Music Mondays - Summer cool

Anton Arensky
Nikolai Lugansky & Vadim Rudenko

George Theophilus Walker
Lydia Rhea, cello & Michael Lu, piano

Summer. Heat. Books. Cooling drinks. Very cool music.

Today, no theme to Music Mondays. Just music – originating in two very different continents and eras. But each very, very cool!

Let me know if you enjoyed these selections.

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JULY 3, 2023

Music Mondays - Happy Independence Day

Aaron Copland
Leonard Bernstein conducts the National Symphony
Aaron Copland, narrator

Tomorrow is a day of great significance to this country. While we celebrate together, let us never lose sight of the reality that freedom does not protect itself. Happy Independence Day.

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JUNE 26, 2023

Music Mondays - passing the solstice

SUMMERTIME by George Gershwin
Sting & the Dutch Orchestra of the 21 Century

Sacred Feminie Vocals Transmission
Cathedral Rock Vortex

Long before we could use astronomy apps on our smartphones, the ancients closely followed the position of the sun in the sky. Monuments and structures around the world were designed with the annual cycles of the sun in mind, and some even align in special ways on the days of the solstices and equinoxes.

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JUNE 19, 2023

Music Mondays - a Juneteenth concert

Noontime Concerts
San Francisco

Juneteenth is an American Holiday which commemorates the declaration of the end of slavery on the actual day, June 19th, in Texas, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. It is not yet accepted in all states, probably destined to follow the Martin Luther King Day which took a number of years to become a federal holiday.

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MAY 29, 2023

Music Mondays - Lingering Ghosts

Piano Duo Silivanova Puryzhinski

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Michael Tilson Thomas

Wars start with calls to arms, and end with memorials.

One such call to arms was a march attributed to Henry Purcell during the revolution of 1688. Called Liliburlero, it became very popular in the English barracks, an anti-Jacobite song deriding the Irish Catholics. Sir Richard Rodney wrote The Liliburlero Variations for two pianos - a Dranoff 2 Piano commission - based on that historical piece.

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MAY 8, 2023

Music Mondays - many facets

The last concert of the Dranoff2 season is a double treat – two performances of making music and poetry for the price of one. But it is also a double treat because of the throughline from PIANOSLAM and Dranoff: poet Cheryl Fife is an alumna of our arts integration program, and poet Adrian Castro has performed in PIANOSLAM.

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MAY 1, 2023

Music Mondays - celebrations in May


In only three weeks, Dranoff2 Piano will celebrate the music of Cuba in performance and poetic writings. The program musically spans the evolution from independence from Spain to the infusion of West African music becoming Afro-Cuban to contemporary composers’ original works. Musical Journeys of Cuban Independence concerts will culminate in a gorgeous and very meaningful new piece from jazz legend, Chucho Valdes commissioned by Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation. I urge you to secure your tickets now.

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APRIL 24, 2023

Music Mondays - different stages

Thank you! Thanks for being part of our circle that brings to life PIANOSLAM. Thank you for your encouragement in words and funding and your presence at performances. Thanks also to Johann Zietsman, CEO of the Arsht Center, for your continuing support and partnership with PIANOSLAM, and thank you to Jane Gilbert, Miami-Dade County Chief Heat Officer, for your important contributions to the curriculum and workshops.

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APRIL 17, 2023

Music Mondays - Matching grant

Just 48 hours left until the PIANOSLAM show at the Arsht Center. And 48 hours to double your gift to benefit the program. Board members are extending a matching grant up to $10,000, which means that your $150 gift is now worth $300, your $500 will turn into $1000. Not magic, just generosity. Please hurry up and make a contribution to the Dranoff2 Spring Fund Drive. Pick any of the amounts on the menu below, and know your gift will be part of the value and joy PIANOSLAM brings to our – your – community. .

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APRIL 10, 2023

Music Mondays - The best things in life are free. PIANO SLAM

Slavonik Dances
Duo Spektra
Inesa Gegprifti & Redi Llupa

Afrobeta Synth Dance Band

Please support PIANOSLAM15 this year.

PIANOSLAM has engaged almost 110,000 teenagers in music performance and arts integrated education since 2007. The program has provided professional education for teachers to use music as an inspiration for the development of language and writing skills. ALL provided by the Dranoff2 Piano FREE to schools and to teachers. FREE to children and their families.

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APRIL 3, 2023

Music Mondays - Sounds of Spring

Dream About Your
Afrobeta are joining the piano Inesa Gegprifti & Redi Lupa and the poet Arsimmer McCoyr
on stage of the Arsht Centerr

We hold two fundraisers each year, Give Miami Day in November, and the second in Spring. This is also the time when we present PIANOSLAM the Show, which is the culminating event of a huge several months-long in school that is free to students and teachers alike. The Show will feature some fantastic artists and music, both classical and “now”, and the original voices of Miami’s best young poets. I am cheating a little bit and give you a teaser of one of the poems that is featured in the Show on April 19th at the Arsht Center:

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MARCH 27, 2023

Music Mondays - Sounds of Spring

Kirsten Volness
Ghosts of Cascadia
Duo Stephanie & Saar

On this last Music Monday of Women’s History Month - the month which also contains the Spring Equinox - we wanted to share with you the lovely Ghosts of Cascadia by the young American composer Kirsten Volness. It was premiered by Duo Stephanie & Saar in their concert Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman on March 3 in Miami.

In the composer’s own words: “Ghosts of Cascadia was inspired by the spiritual presence I feel of people I recently lost in the woods, in the wind, in the sounds of waterfalls as luscious plant life springs forth all around us…”

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MARCH 20, 2023

Music Mondays - From Duo to Solo

Asiya Korepanova
Concert encore

Dranoff2 started its 2022-2023 season with a 2 piano celebration of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s 150th birthday, featuring Russian pianists Ilya Kazantsev and Asiya Korepanova. I had the pleasure of hosting Ilya while he was in Miami, and getting to personally know our talented artists is one of the great joys Dranoff has afforded me.

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MARCH 13, 2023

Music Mondays - Poetry is happening - PIANO SLAM 15

Antonin Dvorak
SLAVONIC DANCES - for 4 hands
Yuja Wang & Andras Schiff
This is one of the classical pieces featured in the Piano Slam 15 music kaleidoscope

This week will see the final round of judging the over 1000 entries for the Piano Slam 15 Countywide student poetry competition. The student poets wrote about Miami, music, heat, warmth, chiarosccuro, science, love, identity, dreams using either the theme of “Hot Music Hot Miami” or using musical terms. Expect adagio, presto, crescendo and the annually recurring favorite, de-crescendo. But you can also expect some truly wonderful writing. I have personally read a few hundred of the poems, and cannot wait to see how the creative forces behind the program embed those poems into the ensemble performance on April 19th.

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MARCH 6, 2023

Music Mondays - Minimal

Simeon ten Holt
Piano Duo Sandra & Jeroen Van Veen

Piano Duo LP

“There is no Minimalistic composer who has so much freedom” as ten Holt, said the pianist Jeroen van Veen, adding that ten Holt’s fluid compositions “gave back what had been lost in the classical tradition: being flexible onstage.” But in the wider historical schemes — of Minimalism, and of European classical music too — those characteristics do make him “an outsider,” van Veen said.

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FEBRUARY 27, 2023

Music Mondays - breathing fresh air

Meredith Monk
Duo Stephanie and Saar

I am so looking forward to share with you next Thursday’s concert featuring the wonderful Duo Stephanie and Saar. They are joined on stage by their friend and host, the inimitable Kristin Podack.

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FEBRUARY 20, 2023

Music Mondays - the core of ensemble music

Trio elegiaque Nr. 1 in G minor
Hermitage Trio

Today we recommend a Miami concert with one of the great artists Dranoff2’s has presented: Ilya Kazantsev. He is performing tomorrow night for the Friends of Chamber Music Miami as part of the Hermitage trio.

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FEBRUARY 13, 2023

Music Mondays - Fanfare for a kaleidoscope

China West Suite
Duo Stephanie & Saar

Dranoff2 continues to widen the lens of our programming. Last week's powerful and contagious West African Beats performance yields to next month's concert created as a part of a series by the Makrokosmos Project, honoring outstanding and uncommon, extraordinary women.

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FEBRUARY 6, 2023

Music Mondays - About the Bandshell - not what you may remember


If you grew up in Miami, you may have memories of the Miami Beach Bandshell. The place full of sand and heat and the sound of the ocean.

The new bandshell still has the sound of the ocean; the location has not changed. Everything else – well, see for yourself! That is where Dranoff2 presents Saturday’s concert of West African Beats. A venue that is taking its history into the future seems quite perfect for an evening of musical storytelling.

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JANUARY 23, 2023

Music Mondays - The Year of Hope

Felix Mendelssohn
CONCERTO for 2 PIANOS in E major, 1st movement
Duo Ping and Ting & The Hong Kong Children's Symphony Orchestra

The Chinese New Year festival began yesterday. For the next several weeks celebrates the end of winter and the arrival of the spring season while honoring deities, ancestors and family ties.

2023 is the year of the rabbit, a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture; it is predicted to be a year of hope. So today, we chose a piece of music performed by very young musicians – our future.

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JANUARY 16, 2023

Music Mondays - I Have a Dream

Mahalia Jackson

George Walker
Lydia Rhea, cello
Michael Lu, piano

On August 28, 1963, Dr. King gave his now famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Monument. Dr. King looked down onto more than 200,000 faces having assembled to mark that day’s famous occasion, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. His speech put into words his dream that “little Black boys and Black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers” in a unified nation, regardless of skin color, background, age or physical attributes.

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JANUARY 9, 2023

Music Mondays - Widening the lens

Leon Foster Thomas
FOOTPRINTS by Wayne Shorter

Peter London Global Dance Company

There are many musical traditions that although they have widely different origins, they cannot really be separated. Widening the Lens of Great Art, Dranoff2 expands these traditional views of the “ Art of Two”.

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JANUARY 2, 2023

Music Mondays - Bubbles

Sebastian Bartman
Duo ImPulse

A decade ago Dranoff2 presented Duo Yamamoto, Duo Yoo & Kim and Duo ImPulse in a multi-city tour in Latin America. On this first Monday of 2023, we wanted to share an effervescent, delightful interlude from that time, composed by Sebastian Bartmann of Duo ImPulse.

Here is my wish for you: May all your troubles be as light as these bubbles!

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DECEMBER 26, 2022

Music Mondays - Unity

Saa Magni

Dance of David with
Tal Cohen Trio

Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa – all celebrations of nascence of light, life and community. We are so fortunate to live in a moment when the many different traditions of the world’s people are given an open reception. The lens is widening.

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DECEMBER 19, 2022

Music Mondays - Dedication

Elohim, hashivenu, a 4 voci

The celebrations of these winter holidays bring to mind the wonderful musicians and their music that we enjoyed together in this past year and how we can look forward to the light, love and joy of performance that Dranoff2 will bring to the stage in 2023.

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DECEMBER 12, 2022

Music Mondays - Light

Ralph Vaughan Williams
Fantasia on Greensleeves
IBIS Chamber Music

Hong Kong New Music Ensemble

All the winter celebrations ceremonialize the coming of Light and Joy. Beginning on December 1 with Advent (literally: coming to you) Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa celebrate the return of longer days, ending with Chinese New Year in February.

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DECEMBER 5, 2022

Music Mondays - Dancing

Claude Debussy
The Snow is Dancing
Jean-Yves Thibaudet

On this, the fifth day of December, we are approaching winter (the solstice is on 12/21), the time of year of reflection, rest and rebuilding. Even here in South Florida, when these are really the “salad days”, we do occasionally slow down to stretch up our arms to the beautiful blue skies and experience the sun not as burning, but feel its rays dancing on our skin, rejuvenating us.

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NOVEMBER 28, 2022

Music Mondays - Ned Rorem

Ned Rorem
Six Variations for 2 Pianos
Arianna Goldina & Remy Loumbrozo
Laureates of the 1989 Dranoff2 Competition

On November 18, the Pulitzer Prize winning- composer Ned Rorem died at age 99. He had been commissioned by Loretta Dranoff to compose the required piece for the 1995 two piano competition.

In an article talking about his exploration of great contemporary music and evolution of genres, he stated that there could not be excitement about repetition of hundreds of years old European classical music without a commitment to different genres and heritage of music, and presentation of newly created works that will be allowed to be recognized as great art.

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OCTOBER 31, 2022

Music Mondays - RACH150

Asiya Korepanova performing the piano SONATA No. 1
by Sergey Rachmaninoff

The Hermitage Trio performing the TRIO ELEGIAQUE No. 1 in G minor
by Sergey Rachmaninoff

The Dranoff2 continues our Hot Music. Hot Miami. season this Saturday, November 5, with RACH150 performed by Duo 88 by 20 Asiya Korepanova and Ilya Kazantsev celebrating the great Romantic composer Sergei Rachmaninoff at Aventura Arts & Cultural Center.

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OCTOBER 24, 2022

Music Mondays - Music Mondays

Chen Yi
DUO Stephanie & Saar

There are three matters I would like to write about today, each of great importance to the Dranoff2 - our organization and our artists and how music and arts are brought to you.

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OCTOBER 17, 2022

Music Mondays - Stay tuned

Johannes Brahms
Martha Argerich & Nelson Freire, Piano

From its inception, the Dranoff2 has invested in the future of classical musicians and their music. Evolving from a core of international 2 piano competitions, today Dranoff presents multi genre music collaborations concerts that explore the influence of the world’s great composers both living and past on musical genres today. Dranoff2’s arts integration initiatives, especially Piano Slam, include the history of music & art and music & creative writing for teens.

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OCTOBER 10, 2022

Music Mondays - Old World, New World

Chick Corea & Alfredo Rodriguez, Piano
Carlitos Del Puerto, Bass
Marcus Gilmore, Drums

R. Carlos Nakai

Brent Michael Davids

Antonin Dvorak
Berliner Symphoniker
Herbert von Karajan, conductor

The Indigenous Peoples Day reminds us that human migration has existed since our species has been in existence. Beginning approximately 2 millions years ago, Homo erectus have wandered, moved and explored their worlds.

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OCTOBER 3, 2022

Music Mondays - Remember Noah

a pome by Lenelle Moise with music by Francis Poulenc performed by Duo Yoo & Kim

“Remember Noah. It was so hot, sand as far as the eye could see.” This was a poem performed by Lenelle Moise, the Haitian born poet, actor and playwright who participated in Piano Slam 6, 2014.

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SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

Music Mondays - Autumn

Fanny Cecile Mendelsohn
Sarah Rothenberg, piano

III. Poco Adagio
Imogen Holst
Thomas Hewitt Jones, cello

September 22 was the Autumnal Equinox, the first day of Fall. The German author Kurt Tucholsky observed that “Suddenly, on morning, you smell Autumn. It has not yet gotten cold; there is not wind; nothing has changed, really. But everything has.”

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SEPTEMBER 19, 2022

Music Mondays - About Josephine

Last Wednesday’s Dranoff2 Season opening concert was a great evening of mingling, music, movie and thought-provoking conversation. With a great deal of audience participation, panel members and pianists talked about the film, the music and the representation of black Art. I want to thank the Coral Gables Cinema for partnering once more with us to make possible what has become an annual event. I would love to know what you thought.

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Music Mondays - Labor Day with two Frederic's

RONDO IN C for 2 pianos op. 73, post.
Frederic Chopin
Anastasia & Liubov Gromoglasova

Frederic Rzewski
Bobbie Mitchell

Culture is informed, or rather, formed, by the ways and the places in which we live. This holds true especially for the performing arts. We started this Music Monday blog in March 2020 when all of us were trying to figure out how to not lose our connections. We wanted to find a way to continue to be able to fulfill the deeply human need to make and share the experience of music. For the Dranoff2, it was also a way to give a personal platform to the wonderful artists of our extended family.

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AUGUST 29, 2022

Music Mondays -Josephine, Duke and Dranoff2

Billie Strayhorn
Duke Ellington

Melanie Bonis
The Meeks Duo

Josephine Baker was born in St. Louis, Missouri, into poverty. As an adolescent, she became a dancer, performing in many American cities, but after performances in Paris as a 19 year old, she decided to emigrate to France to escape the American Jim Crow realities. She became a top international star in Paris, and throughout her life dedicated herself to social issues the costs of which she carried through her performances.

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AUGUST 22, 2022

Music Mondays - Fuera del Mundo

Chucho Valdés & Gonzalo Rubalcaba

As the new Dranoff2 season is nearing, I want to continue to tell you about the great variety of musical experiences awaiting us.

For the past two years, we have been very intentional in our investments into diversity of artists, performances and places, and this Music Mondays' focus is the Music of Cuban Independence, a mini series of 2 concerts in a single weekend.

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AUGUST 15, 2022

Music Mondays - Chiaroscuro

CHIAROSCURO for 2 pianos, tuned a quarter note apart
John Corigliano
Benjamin Smith & Tyler Wottrich

The foundational work of Piano Slam has begun this week with teacher professional workshop. Dranoff 2 has engaged climate scientists from FIU, the Florida International University, and from the Rosentstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami to be part of the curriculum. As in prior years, there will be citizen science where the middle schools will participate in heat sensor measurements. The project will also work in conjunction with the Miami-Dade Heat office and with DERM, the Department of Energy Resource Management. The idea is not only to measure, but learn what steps individuals can take to ameliorate things. DERM will give away trees to be planted in each participating school. And we will collaborate with other groups that empower with information and action plans.

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AUGUST 8, 2022

Music Mondays - Trailblazing

CHINA WEST SUITE for 2 pianos
Chen Yi
Duo Stephanie & Saarz

The Dranoff2 Season presenting 7 concert events begins next month. Season subscription will go on sale on August 25.

One of the concerts was conceptualized by Duo Stephanie & Saar as their 7th Makrokosmos Project, “Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman,” in Portland a year ago. They will pay tribute to composers from the past and the present, Clara Schumann, Meredith Monk, Hiromi Uehara. So today I want to feature Stephanie & Saar playing a piece from the Chinese American Composer Chen Yi.

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AUGUST 1, 2022

Music Mondays - On Summer

DANZE DEL FUEGO for 2 pianos
Manuel de Falla
Duo Scarbo - Elena Hammel & Laura Sanchez

On this first day of August, we want to share with you the Danza del Fuego, the Fire Dance, by Manuel de Falla. It is the 2 piano transcription, here performed by Dranoff Competition laureates Duo Scarbo.

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JULY 25, 2022

Music Mondays - Rach 150

SUITE No. 1 for 2 pianos
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Nikolay Lugansky & Vadim Rudenko

SUITE No. 2 for 2 pianos
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Nikolay Lugansky & Vadim Rudenko

The doldrums of summer bring vacations and opportunity to spend some time on reflection and planning. For the Dranoff2, it means finalizing the upcoming performance season. The first public concert of the Dranoff 2022/2023 season this Fall celebrates the 150th anniversary of Sergei Rachmaninoff, the composer who “married” Bach to Brahms and who exemplified the high point of the Romantic Age of Classical Music. It will feature the piano duo Asiya Korepanova and Ilya Kazantzev whom will return by popular request after their stellar performance at the Aventura Performing Arts Center last year.

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JULY 18, 2022

Music Mondays - Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité

CONCERTO No. 2 Camille Saint-Saens
Valentina Lisitsa

VISIONS DE L'AMEN Olivier Messiaen
Bergmann Duo

July 14 is Bastille day which celebrates and commemorates the French fight for Independence and government transformation that was inspired in part by America’s Declaration of Independence on July 4th and our own Revolutionary War.

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JULY 11, 2022

Music Mondays - Happy Birthday Susanna!

Duo imPuls at the Dranoff International 2 Piano Competition
Miami, 2013

Jerome Moross

It is a time for Dranoff2 to celebrate people who have made a difference in the world of music and in the world of our community. Today we celebrate "our" Susanna Moross Tarjan on her birthday.

Susanna comes from a keystone family of American 20th century music and has been carrying forward the legacy of her father, the composer Jerome Moross.

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JULY 4, 2022

Music Mondays - Happy Birthday

Tom Brier and Carl Sonny Leyland

Amy Beach SUITE FOR TWO PIANOS,op. 104
Susan and Sarah Wang

Happy Birthday America's Independence
Celebrating American Music expressing and embracing all our histories

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JUNE 27, 2022

Music Mondays - Pride

Duo Antithesis with a few comments about Sir Richard.
London, 2022

both from the from Four Piece Suite

Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Duo Antithesis

June is PRIDE month and Dranoff2 is celebrating a great LGBTQ composers from Chopin to Tchaikovsky to Dranoff‘s commissioned composer, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett.

We have just finished presenting an ambitious first full season after the horrors of the last two years. Phoenix rising, so to speak. We presented classical classics, jazz, film music and, of course, Piano Slam, all under the theme of The Full Spectrum of Light.

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JUNE 20, 2022

Music Mondays - More than usual

William Grant Still
Phil Sound/Stage
Gustavo Dudamel

William Grant Still
I DREAM A WORLD from the opera A Troubled Island
Wendel Stevens

Juneteenth is now a federal holiday, in celebration of the announcement on June 19th, 1865, in Texas that enslaved Americans were free, two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. Two and a half years!

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JUNE 6, 2022

Music Mondays - More than usual

Pietro Yon Concert Study No.1
Tom Scott Timepiece
The Scott Brothers Duo

Jacobus Kloppers
PIECE CONCERTANTE for Organ, Piano, Percussion
Duo Majoya & Mark Segger

Yesterday, I spent the day driving. 13 hours solo is a long time to think, reminisce, sing, dictate notes, talk to my dog and my cat, try poems, and do more thinking. I like to listen to the radio, but the offerings vary substantially depending on where one is. Pop or rock or country only takes me so far; classical music stations, if one finds them, have weak signals with a limited range, as does NPR. So I was delighted to find clear reception for about an hour of a program focusing on – of all things – organ and piano pieces. Not merely harmonium and piano, which has a bit of history, but much more interestingly pipe organ and piano. I jotted down what I could of some gorgeous performances and discovered some others whilst I was searching for more information. This is what I would like share with you today.

88 keys on the piano, plus 56 manual keys and 27 to 30 pedal keys on the organ. It befits the Dranoff motto The Art of Two! Always more than you expect.

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MAY 30, 2022

Music Mondays - A requiem for our times

Benjamin Britten WAR REQUIEM
NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Memorial Day is a federal holiday for mourning those who died while serving the United States Armed Forces. There seems to be no clarity on precisely where the first such holiday was established, although the practice of decorating soldiers' graves with flowers is an ancient custom. Sadly, there are always graves to decorate.

We have chosen Benjamin Britten's War Requiem for today. It was commissioned to mark the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral, on the site of the original 14th-century structure that had been destroyed in a World War II bombing raid. It was first performed on 30 May 1962.

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MAY 16, 2022

Music Mondays - Four

Martin Bejerano & Kemuel Roig & Roxana Amed DRUME NEGRIT

A Ignacio Berroa EPK 201

Jose Armando Gola GOLA AKOUSTIK


In just a few days, Dranoff2 presents our last concert of the Spring Season. All I can say is – don’t miss it. Four stellar musicians coming together to revel in the great music of Cuba from the past 120 years, all with the twist of improvisation. AND, don’t miss the after-party where we can party together with the artists. Get your VIP tickets to make sure you are part of that celebration. I also want to welcome FIU Casa Cuba for joining our sponsors. We look forward to many more joint events.

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MAY 9, 2022

Music Mondays - Ninety Miles

Martin Bejerano & Tal Cohen Cedar Walton - Fantasy in D


Jose Armando Gola SOLO

The Cuban Independence Day commemorates the creation of the Cuban Republic on May 20, 1902, achieved after more than 30 years of rebellion and war. What these years could not do is snuff out the need for art and music. This the source of the program for Dranoff2’s next concert in our annual series on the music rooted in Cuba.

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APRIL 18, 2022

Music Mondays - Multiple Worlds

Duo Stephanie & Saar work with Martin Bejerano on the recording of his FANTASIA DE TRES MUNDOS

If you have lived for a while as I have, you know that we can carry multiple worlds inside your heart. Sometimes I think the more worlds we do embrace, the bigger our hearts and the more life experiences we can accommodate inside. Martin Bejerano‘s Fantasia de tres Mundos is an expression of multiple worlds. It is also the musical core of Piano Slam this year. His musical ruminations are reflected in the student poets’ writings on the theme of My Music, My Humanness, My Home. Don’t miss it this Thursday evening at the Arsht center. You just might find that your heart will grow..

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APRIL 11, 2022

Music Mondays - From you have I been absent in the spring

Sergei Rachmaninoff
SUITE No. 1 op. 2 FOR 2 PIANOS
Zlata Chocieva & Ilya Itin

When you have Shakespeare describing anything, mere mortals need to not attempt to add words.  Thus all I need to add is music - the incomparably seductive Suite Nr. 1 for two pianos by Sergei Rachmaninoff. A celebration of Spring is complete.

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APRIL 4, 2022

Music Mondays - A river of diamonds floating through the air

Maurice Ravel
Daphnis et Chloë Suite No. 2 arr. Vyachelslav Gryaznov
Duo Shalamovo

I am very excited to share with you that the Piano Slam 14 poetry competition  has been adjudicated. I have personally read over a hundred of the submissions, and would have loved to have seen most of them performed. They were beautiful, touching, thought provoking, funny, wistful…. the range of the human expression.  Alas, limits are necessary, and 18 are finalists.

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MARCH 28, 2022

Music Mondays - Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth inspired hath

Claude Debussy
Prelude a l'apres -midi d'un Faune
EStrella Piano Duo

Nature, “heartless, witless nature, Will neither care nor know What stranger’s feet may find the meadow”. And this week in South Florida, Nature is glorious. A clarion call to give ourselves time to stop, breathe, take in the radiance and feel the breezes. We have selected the delightful Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun for this week. It seems the right music for the end of the “droghte of March,…. Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth inspired hath in every holt and heeth the tendre croppes”(Geoffrey Chaucer). Have a “swete” Spring week.

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MARCH 21, 2022

Music Mondays - Bach in music, the interaction of man with the absolute idea.

Johann Sebastian Bach
Das Wohltemperierte Klavier
Orlando Alonso

Ignatio Cervantes
Danzas Cubanas - Adios a Cuba
Orlando Alonso

Today I will give the introduction to Sebastian Spreng: “In stormy times like the ones we live in, it is necessary to return to the source, such as Bach. His name, incidentally, means river in German. Water, today as yesterday, purifies. Bach in music, the interaction of man with the absolute ideal.”

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MARCH 14, 2022

Music Mondays - Season of Poetry

Antonio Vivaldi The Four Seasons, Spring
Anderson & Roe, piano duo

We just sprung forward in our clocks, and Nature is springing out wherever the weather allows. Down here in Florida, the winds of March are preparing us for the season of the rains.

And there is another season – that of Poetry. We just received the submission of thousands of poems from the middle and high school students who chose to participate in Piano Slam 2022. This year’s theme: My Music. My Humanness. My Home. I personally cannot wait to begin reading them and more so, to meet the Finalists who, unlike last year, are going to be live on stage of the Arsht Center.

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MARCH 7, 2022

Music Mondays - Yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is Today’s Dream

Valentyn Silvestrov
3 Bagatelles, Op.1: III
Helene Grimaud, piano

Bohdana Frolyak
Partita Meditation - Preludium
Innovation Duo

Today, we wanted to share with you something beautiful from a country that has been subjected to horrors throughout its history.

Ukraine, a nation who enters history proper in the Middle Ages, has come under the rule of many external powers – the Golden Horde of the Mongols, the Kingdom of Poland, the Crimean Khanate, the Russian and the Habsburg empires and the Bolsheviks. Ukrainian Bolsheviks established a republic where Ukrainian culture and language persisted, but in the 1930’s Russification began; four to five million people perished from hunger. Then, during the second World War, the country was occupied by Germany and Russia. Ukraine reclaimed its independence after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

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FEBRUARY 28, 2022

Music Mondays - AWARE

Edvard Grieg - Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
Winifred Atwell, piano
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Stanford Robinson, conductor

With few comments on why he calls his band Creole Soul

This week I want to introduce you to our Spring Jazz project which we are incredibly excited to present to our community.

Dranoff was honored to receive the AWARE grant from the Funding Arts Network (FAN) for a Classical /Jazz Festival Exploring West African influences in American music through segregation and synthesis of American performance.

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FEBRUARY 21, 2022

Music Mondays - Some Presidents Music

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Sonata for 2 pianos in D major, K. 448
Martha Argerich & Daniel Barenboim

Aaron Copland Michael
Tilson Thomasm, conductor
San Francisco Symphony

On February 21, the U.S. celebrates Presidents Day, a somewhat vague holiday placed in 1968 near Washington’s birthday on February 22, but also traditionally including Abraham Lincoln, who was born on February 12, 1809.

So, we thought to bring you two President’s penchant for music.

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FEBRUARY 14, 2022

Music Mondays - Trio Elegiaque

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor
Hermitage Piano Trio

arranged for 4 hands by Asiya Korepanova Minute Waltz

Happy Valentine’s Day! St. Valentine’s Saints’ Day has been associated with the tradition of courtly love since the Middle Ages. Love for beauty, for chivalry, for nobility, essentially an experience between desire and spiritual attainment. I hope you have had time for at least a moment of that.

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FEBRUARY 7, 2022

Music Mondays - some Shostakovich

Dimitry Shostakovich
Mikayel Topchyan, Yana Daryan, Varduhi Minasyan

The Shostakovich 5 Pieces for violin, viola and piano featured today are such a lovely way to begin the week. Of course, it is also a ruse to get you excited about joining us on Thursday, 2/10, to listen to more Shostakovich, along with Scriabin and Rachmaninoff, all for two pianos. And of course, we will the first to hear Asiya Korepanova’s new piece for two pianos.

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JANUARY 31, 2022

Music Mondays - about the program

Have you gotten your tickets yet for the upcoming concert in Aventura? It will be so good to enjoy this wonderful moment in music together. Below a video the pianists are sharing with us. Brilliant Rachmaninoff!

Here is the program for the evening: Alexander Scriabin ~ Fantasy in A minor for 2 pianos, Op. posth. Dmitry Shostakovich ~ Suite for 2 pianos in F sharp minor, Op. 6 Asiya Korepanova ~ Con brio for two pianos Sergey Rachmaninoff ~ Symphonic Dances Op. 45, in 2 piano version 

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JANUARY 24, 2022

Music Mondays - Lagniappe

Composed by Mikhail Glinka for voice and piano, Mily Balakirev arranged it for piano solo,
Asiya Korepanova

SONATA no 2, movement 1
Alexander Scriabin
Ilya Kazantsev

This Monday, I would like to again look ahead to the Dranoff2 February 10 concert.

Both artists met at the conservatory in Moscow. Independently from each other they moved to the US, with Ilya locating in Boston and Asiya coming to the Frost School of Music in Miami. She is now living in Boston as well.

At a life celebration for the beloved arts patron Marvin Leibowitz, the acclaimed pianist and Frost School of Music professor Kevin Kenner performed a duo concert with Asiya. This gave rise to the idea to approach her with the idea of creating a duo piano concert for the Dranoff2. An idea that sparked the creation of Duo 88x20 whose brilliant artistry we look forward to enjoy on stage at the Aventura Cultural Center next month.  

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JANUARY 17, 2022

Music Mondays - Tonk

Billy Strayhorn, composer
Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn

An important recognition today of one of our great thinkers who spent his life working toward a better world. In honor of Martin Luther King, today we want to share with you two of the biggest stars of Harlem, Duke Ellington and his main composer Billy Strathorn, coming together here to play the piano duet Tonk. 

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JANUARY 10, 2022

Music Mondays - Concertizing together

Jeroen van Veen & Mike del Ferro

I want to begin today’s letter by expressing how much we appreciate the wonderful audience who attended the Dranoff2 & Cables Art Cinema’s joint concert last Thursday. The brilliant performance by Jeroen van Veen and Mike del Ferro accompanying one of filmdom’s greatest Classics made for both high art and great entertainment. Even With Covid precautions, there was so much enjoyment and fun! It would have been hard not to savor Jeroen and Mike’s original music along with the music by Bach, Debussy, Stephen Reich, and George Gershwin. All of us owe the artists our gratitude for having travelled from Europe to bring us their art, and their hearts.

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JANUARY 3, 2022

Music Mondays - About next Thursday

PRELUDE No. 4 - Frederic Chopin
Daniil Trifonv

Sarah and Susan Wang

We look very much forward to this week’s first concert of 2022, this Thursday, and hope you can be among the music lovers welcoming back Jeroen and Mike.

Your health and wellbeing are at the top of our concern, and the Coral Gables Art Cinema and Dranoff2 are taking strict precautions for all of us to be able to enjoy the performance. All patrons will be asked to show a negative Covid test within 48 hours of January 6 or show proof of vaccine in order to be admitted.

Out of an overabundance of caution, we have sadly decided to cancel the reception, and no food or drinks will be permitted inside the building. Please make sure to have an early dinner or some snacks before you come to the concert at 7pm, as the cinema’s concession is closed. Inside the cinema seats will be socially distanced at a limited capacity of patrons and masks will be required throughout the 70 minute performance. A small inconvenience in exchange for a delightful and fascinating escape we all need.

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DECEMBER 27, 2021

Music Mondays - 2021's last Monday

AVE MARIA- Franz Schubert arr. Rob Dietz Kings Return

The last Monday of the year. Despite all the hardships and difficulties, 2021 has also given us many opportunities to reassess what we may want in our lives, and to delight in those unexpected moments of deep joy.

Looking ahead for Dranoff2, we are deeply excited to work with our new board member, Juan Carlos Espinoza, Dean of FIU’s Honors College, and a music lover for whom this art is as essential as oxygen. I have chosen one of his favorites, a particularly touching rendition of the beloved Ave Maria, paired with a composition by Jeroen van Veen that also celebrates the human voice. Welcome, Juan Carlos!

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DECEMBER 20, 2021

Music Mondays - A pavane, a suite and a steamboat

Maurice Ravel
Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor

PETITE SUITE for 4 hands
Claude Debussy
Martha Argerich and Cristina Marton

Join us for one of Miami’s most unique concert and multi arts film events of the 2022 Season.

In our sixth partnership, the Coral Gables Art Cinema and Dranoff2 present a screening of Steamboat Bill Jr., Buster Keaton's classic disaster film with a brand-new musical score of jazz, classical and improvised music. Composed and performed by Jeroen van Veen and Mike del Ferro, it will move in sync with the rhythms of the movie’s action and comedy. From the works that will make up the new score, we have selected today the sublime Pavane by Maurice Ravel, and the enchanting Debussy’s Petite Suite.

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DECEMBER 13, 2021

Music Mondays - Bach, Reich, Gershwin

AIR from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
Johann Sebastian Bach
Netherlands Bach Society - Lars Ulrik Mortensen, conductor

Let’s take a peek at the January 6 concert which Dranoff2 is presenting in partnership with the Coral Gables Art Cinema.

We are so excited to have Jeroen Van Veen and Mike Del Ferro, Dranoff2 composers and performers, return to Miami. They will bring new scores for a selection of silent films of the great Buster Keaton. Jeroen shared with us the collection of pieces they are using to create their new score – a rich buffet of piano literature including Debussy, Chopin, Mozart, Gershwin, Fauré, Ravel, Reich and Bach. I have chosen three of these for today’s offerings.

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DECEMBER 6, 2021

Music Mondays - About February

18 MORCEAUX, op. 72
Peter I. Tchikovsky
Asiya Korepanova

Dimitri Shostakovich
Dimitri and Maxim Shostakovich

This month is the perfect time to secure your Dranoff2 season tickets. During the next weeks, we will feature the music, composers and artist of the upcoming performances. Season tickets are available until January 5, 2022. More details and a link to order are on the image below.

Let’s start with the February concert. We are so delighted to present Asiya Korepanova and her partner Ilya Kasantsev in a romantic concert of Russian composers.

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NOVEMBER 29, 2021

Music Mondays - The Season of Light

CLAIR DE LUNE on 2 pianos
Claude Debussy arr. Henri Dutilleux
Dubravka Vukalovic & Bruno Vlahek

Berliner Philharmoniker
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

This week we begin the month of December, and with that, we enter into the season of light. Please have a look at Dranoff’s season The Full Spectrum of Light and let us plan to come together to enjoy music that will help us illuminate our lives.

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NOVEMBER 15, 2021

Music Mondays - Three Worlds

Duo Antithesis
Martin Bejerano

This week is Give Miami Day week. Today, The Miami Foundation starts early giving through Wednesday to make participation even easier for everyone. Your gift of any amount between $25 and $10,000 will generate a bonus for Dranoff2 that amplifies your generosity.

I want to introduce you to Duo Antithesis and Fantasia de Tres Mundos. Dimitris Karydis and Petros Moschos perform Martin Bejerano’s wonderful musical exploration of the three worlds of his musical life – Afro-Cuban, Classical and Jazz.

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NOVEMBER 8, 2021

Music Mondays - The Full Spectrum of Light.

Martha Argerich & Lilya Zilberstein
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky THE NUTCRACKER SUITE Arr. for 2 pianos by Nicolas Economou

Dranoff’s past is rooted in the discovery of talent and on the foundation high-level music, commissioning of new repertoire, and performance. Moving into the future, we see new music artistic collaborations and new audience engagement especially with regard to the youth music and arts integration program, Piano Slam.

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NOVEMBER 1, 2021

Music Mondays - 176 Keys. One Passion.

Jeroen van Veen & Mike del Ferro - 176 KEYS. ONE PASSION.

In this 1st November Music Mondays Dranoff competition laureate Jeroen van Veen and his friend and frequent duo partner Mike del Ferro are performing a lovely original improvision they name “176 keys. One passion.” Such expansive talent to begin our week. A good moment for me ask you to mark your calendar to donate to Dranoff on November 18th --Give Miami Day, the Miami Foundation’s program to involve the entire community in philanthropy to make Miami a more caring and brilliant home for us all.

Give Miami Day is Dranoff’s largest annual fund drive. We focus our fundraising on our Arts Integration Initiative Piano Slam and high level classical music performed by international pianists who bring their artistry into the public schools that it relies on the core. For a taste, click here.

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OCTOBER 25, 2021

Music Mondays - Two plus Two

Roxana Amed - ONTOLOGY

Brenda Alford - MESSAGES ... Songs for the Soul

Dranoff’s mission is the Art of Two, the 2 piano art form, the music, the pianists dedicated to it. That is what we have focused on for the life of our organization. But over the years, we have also worked with hundreds of local, national and international musicians in ensemble concerts and Piano Slam.

Today, for a change of pace, I am incredible delighted to introduce to you two woman artists with whom we share our magic city, and who share their world with us. Argentinian Roxana Amed is a virtuosic singer songwriter whose music blends South American folk traditions with rock and post-bop jazz. She has been nominated for 2 Latin Grammys for her latest album, Ontology, on which she collaborated with Dranoff Music Director Martin Bejerano as composer, arranger and pianist Dranoff has presented her in concert and we look forward to many more joint events.

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OCTOBER 18, 2021

Music Mondays - The Uncommon Woman

Keiko Abe Haruna Miyake Hiromi Uehara Unsuk Chin Juri Seo
with performances by Mari Yoshinaga, marimba Susan Smith, piano Stephanie Ho, piano Monica Ohuchi, piano
Portland Percussion Group, disks

This week, I am very pleased to share with you a project by the Dranoff Competition Laureates, Duo Stephanie and Saar. It is a perfect fit with our tribute this month to women.

Their Makrokosmos Project 7, “Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman” celebrates the imagination and artistry of women composers from across the globe. Stephanie and Saar have dedicate the project to the late Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, an uncommon woman if there ever was one.

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OCTOBER 11, 2021

Music Mondays - Intersections

Amy Beach
Duo Genova & Dimitrov

Amy Beach
SUMMER DREAMS for piano four-hands, op.47 Tarantella
Duo Genova & Dimitrov

Dranoff’s 2021/2022 Season has begun. In reflecting on “The Full Spectrum of Light”, we are focusing this month on women artists and composers.

Aglika Genova and Liuben Dimitrov have just completed a new recording of Amy Beach’s Complete Works for Piano Duo which will be issued in November. In the meantime, below find two short movements from this live recording. We very much look forward to the entire recording!

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OCTOBER 4, 2021

Music Mondays - Absolute Beauty

Samuel Barber - HESITATION TANGO from SOUVENIRS, op. 28
Andriana Minou & Nikos Stavlas
Duo Vladimir & Estragon

The first Monday in Woman’s Month. We are going to feature some of the incredible women composers in the upcoming Music Mondays, but today I want to create a bridge between September’s focus and October’s exciting news.

The American composer Samuel Barber has written music “in terms of what Plato called "the absolute" with a faith in the concept that there is an absolute truth, and absolute beauty and an absolute rightness in things. It seems to me that all of Sam’s music tried to form one version or another of absolute beauty” Leonard Bernstein)

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SEPTEMBER 27, 2021

Music Mondays - Light, Dark and Dances

John Corigliano

GAZEBO DANCES, for four hands Natalia Lavrova & Vassily Primakov - Duo LP

CHIAROSCURO, for 2 pianos Light, Shadow, Strobe Benjamin Smith & Tyler Wottrich, piano

The artist we have chosen to close Music Mondays celebrating Pride Month is the American composer John Corigliano. He continues to add to one of the richest, most unusual, and most widely celebrated bodies of work any composer has created over the last forty years.

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SEPTEMBER 20, 2021

Music Mondays - Mutual Inspiration

Bruno Vlahek & Srdan Caldarovic, piano
Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra
Tonci Bilic, Conductor.

POULENC AND NOAH - CONCERTO For 2 Pianos and Orchestra, 2 piano version performed by DUO YOO & KIM
"NOAH" written and performed by Lenelle Moise
This performance is part of PIANO SLAM 6 in 2014 at the Arsht Center, Miami

Dranoff continues to celebrate the work of great LGBTQ Artists in September which is PRIDE month.

Francis Poulenc’s Concerto Pour Deux Pianos is a standard in the catalog of two piano works. Dranoff required it in several of the past competitions, always to the delight of audiences where it received standing ovations in every performance.

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SEPTEMBER 13, 2021

Music Mondays - ART FOR ART'S SAKE

Frederic Chopin RONDO in C major for Two Pianos, Op 73
Mark Taimanov and Lyubov Bruk, 1959

The second Music Mondays featuring great musicians and artists in September PRIDE month.

One of the most esteemed and performed composers of all times is Frederic Chopin. People – listeners and performers - think of the music they love and how it enriches their lives. Androgeny or homosexuality? Does the sexual identity of this 18th century Polish composer affect how we listen to it?

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Music Mondays - The full spectrum of light

(Solomon HWV 67) transcription for 2 pianos by Jonathan Scott
Scott Brothers Duo

Georg Friedrich Händel RINALDO/ Act 2 - Lascia ch'io pianga
Cecilia Bartoli
The Academy of Ancient Music · Christopher Hogwood

The rainbow makes visible the full spectrum of light. It is a symbol of hope and believe that beyond the shadows lie blessings and new beginnings. In some mythologies, the rainbow acts as a bridge between the mortal and immortal. And, as the visible colors are all unified and combined into one arc, it symbolizes community, equality and peace.

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AUGUST 30, 2021

Music Mondays - What do these movies have in common?

Ludwig van Beethoven - transcription for 2 pianos by Franz Liszt

Symphony Nr. 9 in D Minor, op. 125 - ODE TO JOY
Piano Duo Chipak & Kushnir with James Bass, Sarah Brailey, Amanda Crider & Brad Diamond

During August, Music Mondays focused on music in films. I would like to finish with the music of one of music’s titans.

What do Visconti’s Death in Venice and Wilder’s Kiss Me, Stupid, Ahsby’s Being There, Scorcese’s The Age of Innocence, Weir’s Fearless, Redford’s The Horse Whisperer and Lester’s Help have in common?

Music by Ludwig van Beethoven. Fuer Elise (first two films) , Symphony Nr. 6 in F Major, Piano Sonata Nr. 8 in C Minor, op. 13, Concerto Nr. 5 in E flat, Sonata in F major for cello and piano, and finally, Symphony Nr. 9 in D Minor, respectively.

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AUGUST 23, 2021

Music Mondays - Sir Richard Rodney Bennett

Sir Richard Rodney Bennett - FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Sir Richard Rodney Bennett was one of the most famous British composers of the late 20th century, and Dranoff is proud to have commissioned him to compose one of our most popular pieces for two pianos, The Liliburlero Variations, composed for the 2008 Dranoff Competition.

He received his musical training at the Royal Academy of Music, and became fascinated with German avant garde music, as well as studying serialism and 12 tone techniques with Pierre Boulez.

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AUGUST 16, 2021

Music Mondays - Anna, and a quarter tone

John Corigliano ANNA'S THEME
Performed by Joshua Bell

John Corigliano CHIARUSCO
piano performance by Duo Turgeon narration by Martin Bookspan

John Corigliano's scores, now numbering over one hundred, have won him the Pulitzer Prize, the Grawemeyer Award, four Grammy Awards, and an Academy Award for best score for The Red Violin, a beautifully filmed whodunnit drama about a violin and its effect on various owners throughout several centuries. Joshua Bell plays Anna’s Theme in the video below.

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AUGUST 9, 2021

Music Mondays - 2 Pianos and the movies

Performed by Michel Legrand and Oscar Peterson

Michel LeGrand, one of the most awarded movie composers, was commissioned by Loretta Dranoff to compose the required piece for the second Dranoff competition in 1989.

Since that time, the organization has repeatedly featured film music in newly created arrangements for 2 pianos, most recently in our partnership with the with a Coral Gables Arts Cinema. From silent funnies to large scale Westerns, brilliant music has been used to make storytelling more brilliant, instruments have enhanced the spoken stories, silence interspersed with sound made drama more dramatic.

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AUGUST 2, 2021

Music Mondays - Bounce

Adam Schoenberg BOUNCE
Performed by Nadia Shpachenko and Genevieve Feiwen Lee

American composer Adam Schoenberg (b. 1980) was jointly commissioned by the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

When the commission was finalized in November 2012, my wife and I learned that a new addition to our family would be arriving in late summer. Within minutes of this discovery, the title Bounce came to mind, and I knew that this work would be inspired by first my child.

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JULY 26, 2021

Music Mondays - Carnival

Performed by Jing'er Xu and Hanqian Zhu Photo by Geri Dagys

Often times composers write with specific audiences in mind. This holds true even when composing works for children; a balance is to be achieved between appropriateness for the audience and appropriateness for the reputation of the composer’s work.

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JULY 19, 2021

Music Mondays - The Pearl of the Antilles

Ernesto Lecuona ANTE EL ESCORIAL
Performed by Dranoff competition laureates, Duo Turgeon From the Album: Latin American Journey

In the hot and lazy days of summer, Dranoff is finalizing the 2021/2022 Season. We plan for in-person concerts, with artists able to travel from abroad to Miami and our friends, safe from a renewed viral onslaught. But if that were not to be, last year has certainly taught us how to produce exciting and creative experiences at the intersection of virtual, cyber and real life! . 

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JULY 12, 2021

Music Mondays - The song that says my bones are your bones

Susan and Sarah Wang

National anthems are intended to serve as rallying points and unifiers. But often, they become earworms, with most of the words lost to the emotional moment of breaking into song. We respond to the thrill of joining our voices in unison with others and overlook the words.

As to today’s selection of music - There are multitudes of contained within one nation. The outsiders. The outlaws. The weavers. Strength comes from braiding together strands that can withstand stress. I hope you enjoy spending a little time with each. 

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JULY 5, 2021

Music Mondays - United, by a small voice

William Bolcom- RAGTIME & CAKEWALK
Elizabeth & Marcel Bergmann

National Medal of Arts, Pulitzer Prize, and Grammy Award winner William Bolcom has composed music in a range of styles that all but erases the lines between art music and popular music. And he has taught and mentored some of the foremost composers in America today. “In his music - a vast and varied catalog that includes symphonies, operas, chamber music and song cycles — the most ingratiating and accessible strains keep company with gnarled dissonances. Ragtime and tango, Mozartean pastiche and full-scale modernism all take turns at center stage. The reason for this omnivorous but carefully controlled hodgepodge is perfectly simple, says Bolcom. “I have a huge palette of things I want to express. So I just take what I want. And then if the styles are different, I try to make sure they’re talking to each other as seamlessly as possible.” – Joshua Kosman July 28, 2018 

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JUNE 28, 2021

Music Mondays - Cotton Mill Blues

Frederic Rzewski COTTON MILL BLUES
Quattro Mani Ensemble - Susan Grace and Alice Rybak

The American composer and pianist Frederic Rzewski died on June 26 at the age of 83. Born into a family of Polish emigres, he eventually chose to live in Europe, where he split his time between Italy and Belgium, with regular visits to the US to perform and teach. In fact, two of the pianists we have introduced to Miami over the years, Ashrly Hribar and Bobby Mitchell, studied with him and both were deeply influenced by him. 

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JUNE 21, 2021

Music Mondays - Trekking

Meredith Monk TREKKING
Duo Stephanie & Saar

We just trekked through an annus horibilis, and our eyes and hearts are unquestionably changed. In today’s choice of music, Meredith Monk’s Trekking, accompanying Stephanie and Saar’s performance are images of their ascent to the heights of the majestic Tetons. Hardship and reward.

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JUNE 14, 2021

Music Mondays - Work in progress

George Gershwin - LIZA
Chick Corea &. Herbie Hancock
Maya Angelou - And Still I Rise

These next few weeks are full of remembrance of American Heritage. That heritage is built on the confluence of so many cultures. Our founders Loretta Dranoff, Martin Bookspan and Ruth Greenfield, all Americans in red white and blue, founded the Dranoff as an organization attracting international artists and giving space to those influences. Our home in Miami Florida is at the tip of the United States, a nexus for global music, both historically and today. .

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JUNE 7, 2021

Music Mondays - Verklärte Nacht

Arnold Schönberg - Verklärte Nacht, op. 4
Irina Simon-Renes – viola; Coraline Groen - viola; Lilli Maijala - alt viola; Santa Vizine - alt viola;
Christophe Morin - cello; Jerome Fruchart - cello

Romanticism, poetry, images. Nature. Music. And almost, almost returning to a time and place where we can enjoy all these experiences in public, and together. Until everything opens up, there are still such glorious moments as the concert we are featuring today at the stunning art Museum Voorlinden in Holland. Arnold Schönberg's Verklärte Nacht that is a declaration of acceptance and hope.

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MAY 31, 2021

Music Mondays - War and peace

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture
The Boston Pops

Bill Evans The Peace Piece
Jean-Yves Thibaudet

No words today. Just music both as fireworks and as contemplation, and the fervent hope that those who have given their lives in defense of democratic ideals have not done so in vain. To all the families who have carried the pain of loss, to all the men and women of valor, we thank you.

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MAY 24, 2021

Music Mondays - Beauty is truth, truth beauty
Franz Schubert Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 100, D. 929, in E-flat Major
2nd movement, Andante con moto

This Monday, a change of pace.

Keats and Schubert. Years go by, but love, beauty, art - and truth - are forever.

I do want to connect that to our recent poetry project. It may seem stretched, but the student poets in Piano Slam talk about truth. The power and the beauty of truth. About what the virus has wrought, social justice, belonging to a community – all truths that we need to hear and take to heart. The beauty of truth from the mouths of our young people. If you have not had the chance to see the movie, please click here; it is a testament to the ingenuity and the willingness to deal with the here and now.

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MAY 17, 2021

Music Mondays - The Golden Light
Sergei Rachmaninoff Romance for 2 pianos
Pianoduo DUOR
Yoshie and Takashi

I hope you had the chance to enjoy the premiere of PIANO SLAM 13 - The Movie last Thursday. From the opening scene of dancers seemingly on a cloud in one of the high up corner spaces of the Arsht Center to a undulation under water, from Liberty City to Ludlam Trail throughout the many locations and landmarks in our city, with music from the grand stage to hip-hop in the corner store – the movie flew by much too fast. The students’ poems touched on those subjects that we have all lived through in the past year. Despite the medium, the hour spent felt very intimate, as though we were all in a space, together. We will make sure to make the film available as soon as possible..

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MAY 10, 2021

Music Mondays - To leave the world a bit better
Frederic Chopin Fantasie Impromptu for 2 pianos
Arrangement Gould/Schechter
Pianoduo DUOR
Yoshie and Takashi

This week, Dranoff and the Arsht Center premiere PIANO SLAM 13 - The Movie.

It has been one of the most challenging, surprising and exciting enterprises we have been produced – from the virtual workshops, tutorials, concerts and rehearsals to filming the winning student poets in places all over Miami, dancers dancing in unexpected locations, and editing the final film over several time zones. Kudos and deep appreciation to each and every person who has been part of it. Watch it on Thursday on the Arsht Center Youtube Channel.

A special thank you to a very generous artist who has created the design for this year’s PIANO SLAM t-shirt.

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MAY 3, 2021

Music Mondays - About an icon and a friend
Leonard Bernstein Candide Overture
London Symphony Orchestra
1989 Maestro Leonard Bernstein

One of the contemporary music world’s greatest voices, Marty Bookspan, with more accolades to his name than I can list here, died this week at the wonderful age of 94. He left behind family, dear friends and a world better for his insights and care. Please read about his life using the link below.

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APRIL 26, 2021

Music Mondays - Shakespeare and Mendelsohn. A bit of Spring
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Overture to a Midsummer Summer Night's Dream,
arr. for 2 pianos, 8 hands
Carlos Avila & Jun Cho & Ta Wei Tsai & Anton Smirnoff

April is the month when we commemorate William Shakespeare’s birth as well as mourn the day of his death a mere 52 years later. April is also poetry month when we celebrate the art of words. April in the Norther Hemisphere is the month of fickle weather, and of Nature bursting forth into life. Jean Giaudoux said: ”The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life.“

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APRIL 19, 2021

Music Mondays - Bennet for two, and for many
Sir Richard Rodney
Bennet Four Piece Suite for 2 Pianos - Samba Triste
Cristina Casale & Emmanuel Ferrer

This Monday, I wanted to share with you music from a British composer in memory of Prince Philip, Queen Elisabeth’s beloved husband of over 70 years.

In 2007, Dranoff commissioned Sir Richard Rodney Bennett to compose a piece for the 2008 International 2 Piano Competition. Since its premiere, The Lilliburlero Variations for 2 pianos has been loved by pianists and audiences alike, played all over the world in both recitals and by orchestras including at the BBC proms in 2009.

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APRIL 12, 2021

Music Mondays - Arensky for Two
Anton Arensky Suite no. 1, op. 15 for two pianos
Piano Duo Genova & Dimitrov

This Monday, we are returning to our core, in a manner of speaking – the Art of Two.

Aglika Genova & Liuben Dimitrov were Dranoff 2 Piano Competition winners in 1999 and have since then gone on to a highly successful performance and recording career, recognized with awards in both their native Bulgaria and in Germany where they are university professors in Hannover. In 2013, they served as Artistic Directors of the competition. In October 2011, they were invited to play at the Library of Congress’ Founder’s Day concert, presenting a program of showstoppers, bookended by two fantasies –– Liszt’s opera transcription on themes from Don Giovanni, and the beautiful Schubert Fantasy as an opener. From this concert, we are sharing with you Anton Arensky's Suite no. 1, op. 15.

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APRIL 5, 2021

Music Mondays - We Are Celebrating Spring
Frederic Chopin Fantasie Impromptu
Pianoduo DUOR

All the rituals and celebrations of this season exist to remind us of the resilience and exuberance of life.

We throw open the windows to once again watch and hear masterpieces of music live. We open our hearts and minds to bring a new generation into classical music. We invest in a future full of art and cultural connection to enrich our shared community. This is the mission of Dranoff 2 Piano.

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MARCH 29, 2021

Music Mondays - This feels so good to write
Orlando and Orlay Alonso- Cuban Symphonic

This past Friday, Dranoff presented our season’s first concert with the Alonso Brothers. As Carlene Sawyer expressed in her opening remarks, the careful plan developed by Miami-Dade County in ensuring a safe environment and the particular care taken by the Miami Dade Auditorium’s staff made it possible to relax and enjoy sharing a live performance together with others.

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MARCH 22, 2021

Music Mondays - A Portable Paradise
Marcel Bergmann- Urban Pulse
Bergmann Piano Duo

Dranoff is in the middle of the 13th year of producing PIANO SLAM in partnership with the Adrienne Arsht Center. The theme is Miami Memories, what’s changed?

Looking back on the mission of PIANO SLAM, the core of the program was to bring classical music by top international artists to teenagers in public schools and inspire them to write poetry about the role of music in their lives. Beginning in PIANO SLAM 1, these students often chose to write about their heritage, their music and their hometown Miami.

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MARCH 15, 2021

Music Mondays - Stranger in Paradise
Alexander Borodin Polovtsian Dances - Stranger in Paradise - Prince Igor
Pianoduo DUOR

Happy Ides of March – Stranger in Paradise is one of those pieces of music that many of us instantly recognize, but cannot really place. The melody originates in one of the Polovtsian Dances from Alexander Borodin’s opera Prince Igor, which are performed at the end of the opera’s second act. Here is more about their evolution from operatic ballet to the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

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MARCH 8, 2021

Music Mondays - The Art of Two
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 10 for 2 Pianos and Orchestra in E -flat major, K. 365
Ivetta Irkha and Maria Rostotsky, piano
Stockholm Sinfonietta. Pär Fridberg, conductor.

Two piano music is the core of ensemble music. It is often said to reflect the idea of the human relationship – The Art of Two. The art form, however, suffers from the misconception of the literature being very limited and not really among the greats of classical music repertoire.

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MARCH 1, 2021

Music Mondays - The Lilliburlero or how to march a king off his throne
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett - The Lilliburlero
2008 Duo I'M Irina Silivanova and Maxim Puryzhinskiy, piano at the Lincoln Theater in Miami

The time for film and TV awards has come, and we thought to bring you a Dranoff commission by Sir Richard Rodney Bennett who scored countless films, among them Murder on the Orient Express, Far from the Maddening Crowd, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Enchanted April.

For the 12th International 2 Piano Competition in 2008, we engaged Sir Richard to write a two piano piece, The Lilliburlero. It was inspired in part by one of the marches seen in the movie Barry Lyndon , a march composed by Henry Purcell that became popular in England at the time of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Its lyrics were intended to discredit the administration of King James II.

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FEBRUARY 22, 2021

Music Mondays - There would be no ragtime without the piano
The Entertainer, 1902 Scott Joplin, piano

Best known for his significant contributions to a new musical style that blended African-American musical styles with European forms and melodies, the "King of Ragtime" helped to "revolutionize American music and culture by removing Victorian restraint." (Biographer Susan Curtis)

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FEBRUARY 22, 2021

Music Mondays - There would be no ragtime without the piano
The Entertainer, 1902 Scott Joplin, piano

Best known for his significant contributions to a new musical style that blended African-American musical styles with European forms and melodies, the "King of Ragtime" helped to "revolutionize American music and culture by removing Victorian restraint." (Biographer Susan Curtis)

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FEBRUARY 18, 2021

Breath of Music - I Ask You This
H. Leslie Adams - Prayer Darryl Taylor, countertenor and Maria Corley, piano
Poem by Langston Hughes

At noon, today, Perseverance is scheduled to land on Mars. I wanted to commemorate it in today’s Breath of Music with Gustav Holst’s Mars from the Planet Suite. In some way, this moment and this music is part of our eternal quest for answers, isnt’ it?.

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FEBRUARY 14, 2021

Music Mondays - Florence B. Price Piano Concerto in One Movement in D minor (1934)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Daniel Blendulf, conductor Sophia Rahman, piano

Florence B Price was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. Growing up in a place and time of deep racism, it was her mother who taught her music from a young age after she was denied music education from the city.

She attended New England Conservatory in 1903 to study piano, organ, and composition, and planned to return to bring music education back to her hometown. However, after a series of violent, racially-charged events, Price relocated to Chicago in 1927, where her music career greatly accelerated. Trained in the European classical tradition, she infuses her work with and the haunting melodies of African American spirituals, folk tunes and vernacular dances.

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FEBRUARY 11, 2021

Breath of Music - Happy Valentines Day
Claude Debussy La Lindaraja for 2 pianos
Michel Beroff and Jean-Philippe Collard, piano

2 Piano Music is written for the relationship between the two instruments and the two artists. The Art of Two..

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FEBRUARY 8, 2021

Duke Ellington piano solo.
Pre-recording for ORTF, Paris. July 2, 1970. Duke Ellington, piano

This month, we want to focus on American music, especially that rooted in the African American experience. What better way to start than with “The Duke”.

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FEBRUARY 1, 2021

John Adams - Hallelujah Junction
Performed by Duo Stephanie and Saar

Luck is the residue of design - John Milton

For the past 12 years, Dranoff has been developing and presenting PIANO SLAM. Now in our 13th year, the word “luck” does not really apply. All of us are challenged to the utmost by an unseen enemy which has forced reassessment and recrafting of just about every corner of our lives. However, our experience has enabled us to re-design and improve formats to fulfill the goals of PIANO SLAM in spite of the virus – Bring top musicians and classical artists into schools during the school day. Include students in the creative process by teaching language development and poetry writing through making available high-level information about music, science and their hometown. Train teachers to use music and arts integration in all core subjects.

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JANUARY 29, 2021

Breath of Music - Keiko Fujiie: At Water's Edge
Kathryn Woodard, piano

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JANUARY 25, 2021

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Sonata in F minor for two pianos, Op. 34b
Performed by Martha Argerich and Lilyia Zilberstein, piano

Johannes Brahms. The Romantic era composer who is one of the “Three B’s” of the musical lexicon: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms. I don’t pretend to know enough about music history nor theory to write anything that has not been written about these icons of music. I just love listening and having their notes pull the strings of my soul and imprint themselves into my heart.

The Sonata in F minor is one of the beloved pieces for many of the duos Dranoff has worked with over the years; it has been a required piece is many of the past competitions, and become a part of their concert repertoire.

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JANUARY 21, 2021

Breath of Music - Johann Seabastian Bach: Prelude 1 in C Major BWV 846 from the Well-Tempered Clavier
Tzvi Erez , piano

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JANUARY 18, 2021

Frederic Rzewski's Variations on El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido! part 8
Bobby Mitchell, piano

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

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JANUARY 14, 2021

Breath of Music - Johann Wolfgang Mozart Sonata in D major for Two Pianos, K 448: (1781) I. Allegro con spirito
Benjamin Rossen, Eugene Hong, piano (Young Artists Concert Series at the Lincoln Center)

Susan Wadsworth founded Young Concert Artists in 1961, a unique non profit organization which has discovered and launched the careers of many of today's most illustrious musicians. She and her husband Charles were on the founding board of the Dranoff 2 Piano Competition

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JANUARY 11, 2021

Simeon ten Holt Canto Ostinato
Performed by Sandra and Jeroen van Veen

This Monday, we are sharing with you a selection by Jeroen Van Veen. Since winning the Dranoff 2 Piano Competition together with his brother, Maarten, over 25 years ago, Jeroen has been a dear friend of Dranoff, has presented multiple concerts, and has acted as artistic director. He is an artist always looking ahead at new trends and new platforms in the music marketplace. This includes a physical “marketplace” in the form of Pernissimo, an enterprise with the mission of availing artists of studios, workspaces, and expositions.

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JANUARY 7, 2021

The first Breath of Music in 2021
Caroline Shaw - And So Caroline Shaw & Attacca String Quartet

And So by composer Caroline Shaw was suggested by vocalist Amanda Crider, a long time Dranoff colleague and collaborator. Amanda’s performance series Illuminarts will present the Attacca String Quartet in a free event on January 31 in Miami.  

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JANUARY 1, 2021

Music Mondays - Minimal Bach
J. S. Bach/ S. Bartmann Prelude in E Performed by Duo imPuls

In J. S. Bach's preludes, countless minimalist structures can be found, not least of which is the compositional technique of the so-called "continuation" of small musical ideas and motifs into an artistic web.   The aim of the composer and pianist Sebastian Bartmann of Duo imPuls is to use their "minimalBACH" project to focus on the musical essence and effects of the individual preludes, to extract their radiance and to shed new light on them.  This minimal music produces a radical simplicity by doing without a motivic continuation; instead only the smallest changes are made to motifs and patterns over long distances.   

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DECEMBER 31, 2020

Blanc & Noir
Claude Debussy - Blanc et Noir for 2 pianos
Ralph Van Raat & Hakon Austbo, piano

2020 has been surprising and challenging, but it has also offered novel opportunities for successfully bringing wonderful artists and music to our patrons, friends and to the children in our community. With your continued support, Dranoff 2 Piano will bring our concerts and artistic collaborations into 2021.   

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DECEMBER 28, 2020

Music Mondays - Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) Egmont Overture
Transcription by Franz Liszt.
Performed by Daniele and Davide Trivella

Egmont, Op. 84, is a set of incidental music pieces composed by Ludwig van Beethoven for the play by the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The overture is followed by nine pieces for soprano, narrator and orchestra.  In this the composer expressed his political concerns through the musical exaltation of the heroic sacrifice of a man condemned to death for having taken a valiant stand against oppression. The Overture became an unofficial anthem of the 1956 Hungarian revolution, just as Beethoven’s   Symphony Nr. 9 and particularly the choral portions the Ode to Joy  became the music forever connected to the fall of the Berlin Wall.  

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DECEMBER 25, 2020

Merry Christmas
Pyotr Ilyich Tschaikowsky - Nussknacker Suite für zwei Klaviere, Finale
Duo Susan and Sarah Wang

May it bring you light and peace and may music renew your joy.

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DECEMBER 21, 2020

Music Mondays - Pathetique
Valentina Lisitsa, piano

One of the best known Beethoven piano sonatas, the Pathetique was written when the composer was 27 years old, dedicated to his friend Prinkce Karl von Lichnowsky. It established his reputation not only as an superb pianist, but also helped created the foundation of his reputation as a composer. The name was most likely  picked by the composer himself to convey its romantic, even sorrowful mood. 

This month is dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven in celebration of his 250th birthday

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DECEMBER 17, 2020

A Breath of Music - Celebrating Beethoven III
Ludwig von Beethoven - Sonata No. 19 in G Minor, Op. 49 No. 1, 1st and 2nd movements
Daniel Barenboim, piano

This month is dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven in celebration of his 250th birthday

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DECEMBER 14, 2020

Music Mondays - of heroics and light
Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) Symphony No. 3, E-flat major, Eroica
   The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra; Daniel Barenboim, Conductor; 2013 BBC Proms.
Beethoven’s Piano Trio Op. 1 No. 1E flat Major written by a young Beethoven and performed by the ATOS Trio in Berlin.

During the winter months, the holidays we celebrate are about ways to celebrate finding and keeping light in our lives. Regardless of our heritage, humans follow the light through darkness, through forging new paths and through sheer persistence.

Beethoven wrote Symphony No. 3 during a time of incredible social and political change. He wrote this struggle into the music and created sounds expressing what it meant to him to be alive at that time.

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DECEMBER 10, 2020

A Breath of Music - Celebrating Beethoven II
Ludwig von Beethoven - Für Elise
Langlang, piano

This month is dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven in celebration of his 250th birthday

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DECEMBER 7, 2020

Music Mondays - with Opus 130, Opus 134 and a Fantasie in four hands

“Central to his existence … was the longing to help mankind raise itself up out of the muck of ignorance and pain.” The music historian Harvey Sachs in his book The Ninth. What a good moment, then, to focus on the master, what a good month to spend time in his music.

This Monday, we would like to introduce to you a new recording by Duo Stephanie and Saar as part of their series of recordings that challenge listeners to hear iconic works in new guises. 

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DECEMBER 3, 2020

A Breath of Music - Celebrating Beethoven I
Ludwig van Beethoven -Sonata Nr. 14, Op. 27, No. 2 , Moonlight
Igor Levit, piano

This month is dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven in celebration of his 250th birthday

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NOVEMBER 30, 2020

Music Mondays - With Schubert

Who better than Franz Schubert to take our thoughts to be ready to enjoy winter. Not melancholy, but the quiet restfulness and preparation for the live that will burst forth next spring.

Murray Perahia and Radu Lupu and Franz Schubert and William Carlos Williams. Dream and enjoy.

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NOVEMBER 23, 2020

Music Mondays - A Monday of Gratitude

Thank you to our many friends who have given so generously on Give Miami Day and throughout the year. Thank you for your wonderful and honest feedback. Thank you for staying with us on the bumpy journey this year has put in front of all of us.  

9th Symphony in d minor op 125, original version by Franz Liszt for 2 pianos and vocal quartet. Ludwig van Beethoven
Duo Chipak & Kushnir with Sarah Braily, Amanda Crider, Brad Diamon & James Bass, New World Symphony, February 4, 2018

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NOVEMBER 16, 2020

Music Mondays on Give Miami Day 11/19/2020

As you know, live concerts are not possible, and all our activities have migrated online. Dranoff’s PIANO SLAM program offers Miami students and educators a much-needed reprieve and a sprinkle of stardust.

To remind you of what your generosity has made possible, we share a lovely video by Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann. 

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NOVEMBER 11, 2020

A Breath of Music - A moment of comfort
Nils Larsson plays his own arrangement on Venus, the bringer of peace from the orchestral work The Planets by Gustav Holst.
The great organ in Högalid Church, Stockholm, Sweden.

Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody.

But how shall I, unless you yourselves be also the peacemakers, nay, the lovers of all your elements?

Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.

Kahlil Gibran

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NOVEMBER 5, 2020

A Breath of Music - A moment of comfort
Johann Pachelbel - Canon in D Major


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NOVEMBER 2, 2020

Handel. Casals. Adams. Music for this moment.

Happy Monday.

The US general election ends tomorrow with the final day of in person voting. It has been a very long slog, made to feel even longer by the restrictions and difficulties related to the virus. One of the few things that seems to have helped so many of us during this era of stress is music. Hence the Dranoff Music Mondays and Breath of Music programs. I hope you have liked receiving them, and that they accomplished what we had hoped they would – a bit of connection and a bit of calm. 

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OCTOBER 29, 2020

A Breath of Music - Claude Debussy - Petite Suite Menuet
Duo imPuls Barbara & Sebastian Bartmann

Sometimes the breath brings quiet to the spirit, sometimes the breath awakens us to beautiful music.

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OCTOBER 26, 2020

Maurice Ravel - La Valse
Duo Chipak Kushnir

This Monday, I would like to share with you some more aspects of the ever-evolving PIANO SLAM initiative. What began as Dranoff‘s program to bring world class professional classical has become a valued education program providing curriculum and experiences for students and teachers across the academic in Miami landscape.

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OCTOBER 22, 2020

A Breath of Music - J.S.Bach - Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, BWV 147 No.10 (1723)
Transcription for two pianos by Myra Hess (1934)
Performed Anastasia Rogaleva & Dimitrji Petrov - PetrRo Duo

This is one of my most beloved pieces of music. It is emotionally demanding to play, although not very difficult technically. I played it with the love of my life, my husband, until the last days of his life. - Pat Bohn

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OCTOBER 19, 2020

Kintsugi - or the art of creating a new reality out of shards
Introducing Sharon Smith

I am delighted and honored to introduce you to Sharon Smith – Emmy nominated film and TV music editor, composer and creator who came to Miami 4 years ago from LA.

When she learned about PIANO SLAM, she joined our committee because she was intrigued by the mission and impact of this program. This experience has inspired her to pursue collaborations with other artists and art forms about the social issues of our time.

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OCTOBER 15, 2020

A Breath of Music - Andante from Piano Concerto #23 (K488), by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Mitsuko Uchida

My profound love for Baroque vocal music has led me to a new appreciation for the more lyrical passages of the Mozart piano concertos. I recognize that the sounds of my mother’s violin (she was a concert soloist), Baroque vocal music, and the aria-like passages of the Mozart Piano Concertos have suddenly converged into a new passion.

Mozart drew upon his creative genius as an opera composer to dramatize the role of the soloist in his concertos. Particularly in the Second Movements, they are marvelously flowing, with lyrical passages that to me mirror the tone and fluidity of the human voice. Heavenly. So beautiful I must remind myself to breathe.

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OCTOBER 12, 2020

Petrouchka for 2 pianos, by Igor Stravinsky
Duo Seo & Kato

Today, we having chosen the duo who won Gold in the last Dranoff 2 Piano Competition Loretta Dranoff attended. Shortly afterward, she left Miami to spend the remaining years of her life in New York.

In 2005, Kuni Seo and Shinichiro Kato – Duo Seo & Kato – competed in the finals with two other duos, one hailing from Israel, the other from Italy. These three finalists were representative of the range of nationalities, styles and performance approaches that Loretta sought to bring to the world of music by introducing top young pianists through the Dranoff competition.

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OCTOBER 8, 2020

A Breath of Music - La Boheme - Mi Chiamara Mimi by Giacomo Puccini
Performed by Mirela Freni

Mimi, sitting inside embroidering flowers, awaits the new Spring. This aria – so familiar and so exquisite - reminds us that even being inside in the dark waiting for an uncertain future, we can reflect on the forces of life and know that there will be another Spring.

- Aisha Nasser and Jodi Budin

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OCTOBER 5, 2020

PIANO SLAM 12 performance by Rachel Ohnsman & Daniel Strange
Music is a constant in our lives......

...especially in teenagers' lives.

For 13 years Dranoff has transported 2 Steinway grand pianos to over 100 public schools in Miami, performing for eight to ten thousands middle and high school students every year. A true arts integration program, PIANO SLAM explores the language of music with in-school live classical concerts to inspire students to write poetry inspired by music and submit their works to an annual competition. Student winners perform their poetry with professional pianists, vocalists and dancers on the stage of the Knight Concert Hall. This Broadway style classical/hip-hop/spoken word concert is co-presented by the Adrienne Arsht Center.

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OCTOBER 1, 2020

A Breath of Music - Suite for 2 Pianos, 3rd. movement by Sergei Rachminoff
Performed by Nikolay Lugansky & Vadim Rudenko

I remember often playing Rachmaninoff‘s second suite with Loretta Dranoff. The third movement is a complete connection between artists and music, expressing the lovely and serene moments in life. - Dr. Ruth Greenfield

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SEPTEMBER 28, 2020

Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra by Francis Poulenc
Performance by Duo Yamamoto. Sarah Hicks, conductor.

Any living organism undergoes constant adjustment. So must organizations.

Dranoff 2 Piano works with great artists who present and pursue great music. We offer these gifts to our youth and now seek to broaden our audience by including young people in the creative process. Recognizing that music is young people's language, music offers a familiar framework for teens to learn, connect to culture, and identify with their community. This is what PIANO SLAM is all about.

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SEPTEMBER 24, 2020

A Breath of Music - Scaramouche by Darius Milhaud
Performed by Duo DUORn

Darius Milhaud’s Scaramouche is one of the most popular 20th century works for 2 pianos. I have heard it performed in many Dranoff concerts, and never tire of it.

Milhaud’s music was much influenced by Brazil. Of the three movements, he first and last ones are driving and upbeat dances. In the second movement, the composer creates a dreamy respite that reminds me of those restful meanderings when time disappears and we are carried forward by gentle breezes. - Rise Kern

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SEPTEMBER 21, 2020

An American Dream for 2 Pianos by Jorge Mejia
Performance by Duo Elizabeth & Marcel Bergmann

This Music Mondays, we are featuring a music by composer/pianist Jorge Mejia the idea of which was sparked when he heard the military call-response of a platoon marching on the beach.

This cadence, military and human, brought Jorge to think about identity, what does it mean to be American, what form of music is most expressive of that identity. From the first march sounds to blues. The third part is inspired by his own identity as Columbian and instructs the performers to improvise. Which, as Jorge says, makes the piece always new. This live performance is by the piano Duo Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann, winners of the 1993 Dranoff 2 Piano Competition and today a vital part of the identity of contemporary 2 piano music.

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SEPTEMBER 18, 2020

A Breath of Music - An Instant
Instantee by Dominique Charpentier

I have been listening to Dominique Charpentier. His music is what I would call new age with a French vibe. It makes me feel peaceful during these very different times. For some reason it touches my own deepest chords. It doesn’t bore me - though a bit repetitive, it’s lovely and soothing. I heard Charpentier’s music in a wonderful Israeli film called The Cake Baker. Instantanee his is my favorite pieces. - Jose Luis Pere

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SEPTEMBER 14, 2020

Variations for 2 Pianos by Michael Gould
Performance by the Dranoff Competition winners, Dominique Morel & Douglas Nemish

As Loretta Dranoff began putting together the foundation of Dranoff 2 Piano, she had three goals: discover young artists, commission great composers, and promote her field of two piano music. She grew up in New York City, studied with the great teacher Clarence Adler (whose father was Richard Adler of “Damn Yankees” fame ) and knew everyone in the classical music world. People found her vision and Loretta herself irresistible. But she did not do it alone.

Let me introduce you to two people who became part of the DNA of the Dranoff: Martin and Janet Bookspan. Marty was the greatest classical broadcaster of all time, and Janet, his beloved, gorgeous muse, was one of the top vocal coaches from the Manhattan School to the Metropolitan Opera. Marty Bookspan was for over 60 years the voice of Lincoln Center, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a top announcer on daytime television and the only broadcaster to be inducted into the Classical Music Hall of Fame.

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SEPTEMBER 10, 2020

A Breath of Music - Lazy Afternoon in Giverny
Winton Marsalis, trumpet

When I listen to Winton Marsalis’s sultry performance of Jerome Moross’ Lazy Afternoon, it evokes images of Monet’s gardens in Giverny – the air shimmering over the water in the heat of a summer afternoon, redolent with the scents of the garden.

The song has been recorded about 150 times over the years by various singers including Barbara Streisand, Tony Bennett, Julie Andrews, and most recently, the opera star, Joyce DiDonato. - Susanna Tarjan

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The Stranger Song - Leonard Cohen

One of the things I personally appreciate, really love, about being part of our Miami cultural arts world are the collaborations and relationships Dranoff has built.

When the Great Recession ripped into the arts world of very separate entities, it brought about a shift in recognition towards joining forces. This newly rethought universe is much richer for it. And it has prepared us – all of us in this universe – to have a better chance at making it through this current time of insecurity.

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A Breath of Music - A Brahms Ballad
Ballade Op.10 in B major by Johannes Brahms Emil Gilels, piano

It often happens that when musicians are in their youth, they experience moments giving their soul wings which propel them through their lives. . For us, it was encountering the music of Johannes Brahms. His piano concertos and miniatures inspired and motivated us, young students at the time!

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AUGUST 31, 2020

Bach. Berg. Bejerano
Invention in D minor by Johann Sebastian Bach
Shelly Berg & Martin Bejerano, piano

I reached out to Shelly Berg with the request to curate a Music Mondays.

What he sent is infinitely better - he sent us a movement from a new recording. Not just any new recording. Johann Sebastian Bach, pure with a wonderful improvisation in the center. And not just any pure recital. A duo recital, together with Martin Bejerano I should have known not to expect anything ordinary from him. A masterful pianist, a brilliant arranger and composer, a revered educator, dean of the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, he also is one of those people who give freely and openly of themselves. Thank you!

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AUGUST 27, 2020

A Breath of Music - The Magic of Flute
The Dance of the Blessed Spirits by Christophe Willibald Gluck - Carol Wincenc, flute and Bryan Wagorn, piano

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AUGUST 24, 2020

Rachmaninoff from Seoul
Sergei Rachmaninoff, Suite for Two Pianos No. 2, Op.17

“Alas, the circumstances have turned out to be such that we weren’t able to meet up; I’ve been back under quarantine since Sunday, which was precisely the day Jackie was released. I was informed on Sunday that a friend I met up with tested positive for Corona, and that I have to be back under quarantine until next Friday, regardless of test results. But we did record a video using Zoom, which we hope suffices.”

A personal video message from Yoon-Jee in Korea and Jackie in Germany

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AUGUST 20, 2020

A Breath of Music - Cello
Suite #3 for Solo Cello, op. 87 by Benjamin Britten - The Conclusion

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AUGUST 13, 2020

A Breath of Music - Je Crois Entendre Encore - I still believe I hear
The Pearl Fishers by Georges Bizet. Placido Domingo

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AUGUST 10, 2020

Happy Monday! Changing things up a little bit, today’s newsletter begins with Carlene Sawyer’s reflections stimulated by a beloved 2 piano composition, the Variation on a Theme by Paganini by Witold Lutoslawski.

She selected two performances of this piece. The first one is by the Gold Medal Winners of the 2013 Dranoff 2 Piano Competition, Yuka and Ayaka Yamamoto, who were featured in the July 13 Music Mondays, and a performance by Martha Argerich and Nelson Freire.

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AUGUST 6, 2020

A Breath of Music - Infant Eyes, a sung poem
Poem by Roxana Amed. Music by Wayne Shorter. Performed by Roxana Amed,voice & Martin Bejerano, piano.

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AUGUST 3, 2020

Anne and Ed Turgeon, this Monday’s featured duo, are sending their love from Canada.

They asked our indulgence in not sending a video note because of certain reasons related to the coronavirus induced quarantine..... I hope Ed does not mind when I share his reason: “I look like Grizzly Adams, and although Anne is as beautiful and radiant as ever, I believe her sentiment is that, not having had the chance to visit a hairdresser since March prevents her from being able to agree to any kind of video, at least for now.” We all fully understand!

Let me just mention that there's an added treat: The Canadian Piano Quartet playing one movement of a Bach Brandenburg Concerto.

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JULY 27, 2020

This time, musical greetings are from Germany. We first met Barbara and Sebastian in 2013 for the Dranoff 2 Piano Competition, when I was fortunate to host them, as well as their little son, Elias, and Barbara’s mother Marianne, who looked after him.

Duo imPuls won the Bronze Prize, plus other categories including the Audience Choice Award and Best Performance of the Commissioned Work. They have returned to Miami several times, including an excursion further south for a Latin American tour. (Including Elias and Marianne.) They had established their Duo imPuls just prior to the Competition and since then have built great successes with exciting programs that include Sebastian's own compositions for a special very personal statement.

Barbara and Sebastian send their hello's and talk about their most recent project, the minimal Bach Suites two of which you can enjoy right now.

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JULY 23, 2020

A Breath of Music - Joey Roukens
Roaming Empty Streets  by the contemporary Dutch composer Joey Roukens is poignantly apropos for our trying times. Listening to this recent piece which was composed for Heather Pinkham's initiative 'Music for Empty Spaces',     I feel that very emptiness, and the physical distances we now must maintain from one another. But the beauty of the music, and the fact that we can share it together, brings us closer nevertheless.

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JULY 20, 2020

Today, Music Mondays presents Bobby Mitchell and Ashley Hribar in a performance of original music for two pianos based on live improvisations for the classic silent film Metropolis by the Israeli pianist and composer Matan Borat.

The main mission of the Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation has been to discover and present the best duo piano artists and to connect them with new audiences. Some of these artists have been wildly adventurous in performance styles and repertoires, both traditional classical and contemporary.

Bobby Mitchell sends a short hello from the south of France, where he served as music director for the (virtual) En Blanc et Noir Piano Festival 2020. Ashley is currently in the Outback of Australia, staying safely away from he coronavirus.

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JULY 16, 2020

A Breath of Music - Meredith Monk
Nature and water have been our healing solace during the pandemic in NYC. They give us an opportunity to be freed from the confines of our apartment, reflect and unwind. We are both nature lovers; nature's beauty makes us feel safe and spiritually nourished.

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JULY 13, 2020

We met Yuka and Ayaka Yamamoto in 2013 when they came to Miami from Yokohama, Japan, for the Dranoff International 2 Piano Competition and won gold medals.  They were hosted and cared for by friends of Dranoff, and applauded and loved by audiences in Miami.  Now, years later, they are both live in Germany and have wonderful performance careers and rich personal lives. Both are married; Yuka has two beautiful children.  

Includes a hello from Ayaka and Yuka Yamamoto from Duesseldorf in Germany.

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JULY 9, 2020

A Breath of Music - Anouar Brahem
When I travelled through Syria in 2006, I was captivated by the middle eastern culture; not only the unforgettable landscape and delicious food, but the warmth and friendliness of the people. I was surprised to see churches and mosques built side by side in what seemed an interesting harmony between people. During these travels I encountered the music of the Tunisian composer and oud player Anouar Brahem.

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July 6, 2020

I hope you have had time this holiday weekend to get some rest, some time to reflect, and to connect with those who are important in your life. Rather than feature a particular duo, this Monday I wanted to honor the woman who started it all.

Loretta Dranoff was an original, a rara avis whose dedication to her beloved 2 piano work filled and informed her life. She decided that the best way to help sustain this art form was to offer a stage for young duos to shine. She created the Dranoff 2 Piano Competition, from which dozens of duos emerged. She also realized that to anchor the growth of her beloved art form in the contemporary repertoire, she would need to encourage an expansion of the literature. So she began to engage some of the top composers of the times to write new works for 2 pianos.

Dranoff commissioned composers cover a wide gamut of styles. For this Independence day, we have chosen four Americans:  Gould. Corigliano. Rorem. Frank.

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JULY 2, 2020

A Breath of Music - Alexander Scriabin
Alexander Scriabin’s Etude in c-sharp minor , originally written for piano solo, is a true “musical rainbow”. It begins at a place of peace and understanding, grows to a peak of passionate expression, and gradually returns to the calm peacefulness of the opening.

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June 29, 2020

The Chinese concept of Yin & Yang represents the balancing, harmonizing factors of the universe. They are opposite energies that are totally dependent on each other and found within each other. Where on is dominant, the other is minimally present. But present it is. Always.

Daniele & Davide send their hellos from Bergamo, Italy.

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JUNE 26, 2020

A Breath of Music - Erik Satie
Even when I was a child I was in love with this music by Erik Satie. His first Gnossienne has this calm and flowing energy; it can go on forever.

Later when I started to play it I noticed that the score had no bar lines! Something that I had never seen before. Nevertheless it is not a-rhythmic; on the contrary; it’s slow repetitive mood could be regarded as the first minimal music piece. Sit down, or lie down and enjoy the music. - Jeroen Van Veen

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JUNE 22, 2020

We first met Lok Ping and Lok Ting Chau as semifinalists of the 2013 Dranoff Competition They were one of the youngest duos ever to compete in the history of the Competition. We have had the great pleasure to watch them mature artistically, and the even greater pleasure of contributing to this growth through our joint projects.

Includes a lovely message from Ping and Ting.

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JUNE 15, 2020

I hope you have enjoyed our visits with artists around the world who are part of the Dranoff family.

Elizabeth and Marcel Begmann have played many roles in our organization. Competition winners, they were invited by Loretta Dranoff as the first Artistic Directors of the Dranoff Competition to continue her vision of the role of the organization in the world of duo pianism. Marcel is a commissioned composer for Dranoff. And of course, they have returned many times for performances. They truly are family.

Includes a personal message from Elizabeth and Marcel, the Bergmann Duo.

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JUNE 8, 2020

Live music brings us together as human beings in community. We have expected it would always be so, but today, the concert world has ground to a halt. As individuals we probably are more physically distant now than we have been in our lifetime. And yet, while all of us are deeply concerned about what tomorrow may bring, we do still expect a future. We must invest in it. Today we share with you different artists and other performers involved in Dranoff‘s arts integration initiative, PIANO SLAM.

Includes Ashley Hribar and Bobby Mitchell performing Metropolis by Matan Porat, in Piano Slam 9.

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JUNE 1, 2020

This Music Monday features a wonderful duo we were so excited to introduce to Miami in our May concert, but you know what happened….. Before you settle into the music, please do not forget to fill out the very brief survey at the end of the newsletter.  It is time to begin an honest conversation with you on what you, our friend and supporter, want to see Dranoff develop as we evolve our performance models.  Your thoughts and your feedback are critical in our planning the season ahead. It will take two minutes. That is a promise.

Includes a personal message from Orlay and Orlando

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MAY 25, 2020

Susan and Sarah were about 12 years old when their talent brought them to Miami to participate in one of Dranoff’s early youth competitions.

They returned in 2008 to win the Silver Medal in the Dranoff International Competition, and since then we have had the joy of witnessing their growth and maturation as artists during their Miami performances over the years.

Includes a personal message from Susan Wang

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MAY 18, 2020

I just got a message about my average daily screen time. 8 hours last week. That can’t be! Or can it?

Like most of us are, I am spending a lot of my life virtually. It is one way – a safe way – to go about our lives, to continue working, learning, being connected to our circle. And it is also a way to escape this strange prison we inhabit right now. We can enjoy a play, watch a film, or listen to music. We close our eyes and we can go on a journey, no longer separated, but in the company of the artists and composers and writers. It feels good..

Includes personal message from Yoshie and Takashi

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MAY 11, 2020

As our world seems to become smaller and tighter, music has become more accessible, more present and definitely more important in our lives. It connects us to our own history and to our place in the greater history. It communicates our joys and hardships. And always, music and the arts are part of our path toward our future.

Includes personal message from Martin Bejerano

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MAY 4, 2020

Diana and Stanislava are two artists, two women and friends who have taught me so much about dedication.

I first met them in 2001 during their first visit to the United States as semi-finalists in the Dranoff 2 Piano Competition, an artistically rigorous, fierce contest for one of the world’s few prizes for two piano performances. It was also my first year of involvement with the Dranoff. (It was an easy falling in love for me who has always loved music).

After having immigrated from Israel to the US just a week before the 2005 competition, they won Silver. Imagine leaving your life, your world, your friends, your language, everything familiar to you behind in pursuit of your Art. So risky because there will be no success unless you perform at the highest level.
It was these two women, girls at the time, who led to my dedication to the artform and the organization.

Includes personal messages from Diana.

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APRIL 27, 2020

This week, Music Mondays #4, Irina Silivanova and Maxim Puryzhinskiy send us their love from Moscow. We share the same concerns, anxieties, hopes and impatience they do. What separates us are large bodies of water. What unites us is our humanity and our music.

Includes personal messages from Irina and Maxim who are, of course, ensconced in their own places.

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APRIL 20, 2020

Here we are, confined in a strange existence for yet another week, month, whatever, trying to hold on to markers to make us feel part of community. We are at sea, as the saying goes. The one thing we have a lot of is time. Time to worry, time to dream, time to be angry, time for walks, for reading, for conversation, and time for music.

Includes a personal message from Jeroen van Veen and Mike Del Ferro

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APRIL 13, 2020

This Monday, we share with you the video of the second half of The Ocean’s Soul – last season’s concert dedicated to the great bodies of water.

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APRIL 6, 2020

Since 2008 over 80,000 Miami-Dade County Public students as well as 5,000 teachers have been part of  PIANO SLAM,  Dranoff's music and arts integration initiative.

A personal message from Ilana Ransom Toeplitz, the stage director for Piano Slam 11 and 12.

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MARCH 30, 2020

Our second issue of Music Mondays. Thank you, Stephanie and Saar for inviting us to listen to music you love and selected to share with us.

The Op 59 No. 3 Razumovsky is a fugue by Ludwig van Beethoven in a bravura version for piano, four hands. It is joyful music, and a joy to watch.

A personal message from Stephanie & Saar, who are bravely holding fort in New York.

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MARCH 23, 2020

As with life, values and perceptions evolve. We often think that masterworks were always masterworks. That was not the case with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Franz Liszt writes in a letter in 1865: “In 1840 the Ninth Symphony was considered an absolute terror by most musicians and so-called connoisseurs of music, in Europe.” Thankfully, that would be anathema today.

Includes a personal message from from Olha and Oleksiy

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