The Piano Battle

The brainchild of internationally accomplished pianists Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis, the Piano Battle sees the duo go head-to-head on stage, charming and enchanting the audience with a variety of classical pieces.

March 6, 2017
Writer: Don Sparhawk

A comedy-classical show featuring two German pianists is classical music in a new context. In the end, the audience will get to decide the winner of the Piano Battle, which will be performed Friday, March 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hart Auditorium at Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg.

The brainchild of internationally accomplished pianists Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis, the Piano Battle sees the duo go head-to-head on stage, charming and enchanting the audience with a variety of classical pieces. 

The two artists, with distinctly different performance styles, take turns to perform pieces by composers such as Chopin, Liszt and Debussy. They will even improvise based on the tunes you request. 

Educated in Hanover and Berlin in Germany and London, Cibis has performed throughout the world. He has released several albums, including a collection of French melodies and piano works by Berlioz, Fauré and Debussy. He has taught at Trinity College of Music in London and frequently gives master classes in Germany, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea. 

Born in South Africa, Kern studied piano in Cologne and Berlin, Germany, with Günter Ludwig and Pascal Devoyon. Unafraid to present classical music in unconventional ways, he has developed concert projects and formats that often feature unorthodox venues, or whereby musicians collaborate with artists in other fields, such as theater and dance. 

Kern has also created the critically acclaimed "arte lounge" for the French-German TV channel Arte. As the show's co-host, he has performed with musicians. He was also the architect of the Piano City Berlin Festival 2010, which featured more than 100 piano performances held in Berlin in one weekend. 

Tickets for the show are $10 to $14 for the general public and $5 to $7 for BYU-Idaho students. A St. Patrick's Day preshow dinner featuring Irish food is $16 extra. Tickets can be purchased at the BYU-Idaho Ticket Office, by calling 496-3170 or online at tickets.byui.edu.