Four Hands and Eight Hands on Two Pianos

October 17, 2012

Four master pianists present a fiery and romantic repertoire, Friday, Nov. 9

TACOMA, Wash. – You may think you have heard Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. But you have not really experienced this rousing piece depicting Napoleon’s invasion of Russia until you hear it played by eight hands in command of two pianos.

The Jacobsen Series concert, Four Hands and Eight Hands on Two Pianos, on Friday, Nov. 9, will be an opportunity to hear not just this cinema-score favorite as never before, but three other inspiring pieces performed by one, two, or four pianists. The concert will be in Schneebeck Concert Hall at University of Puget Sound, starting at 7:30 p.m. Ticket information is below.

If the program sounds familiar to Jacobsen Series fans, it is because the concert was originally programmed for January 2012, but excessive snow in Pierce County led to its cancellation.

The evening will open with Darius Milhaud’s Scaramouche: Suite for Two Pianos, Op.165b, performed by Keith Ward, director of Puget Sound’s School of Music, and guest artist John Pickett. The work, portraying the chameleon character of a young French aristocrat, is a lighthearted piece with some Latin American rhythms. It ends with a Brazilian samba.

John Pickett, professor of music at Central Washington University, will then play the monumental Franz Liszt Sonata in b minor for solo piano. Pickett, a prize-winning pianist, has performed in Europe, Asia, and the United States, including concerts at the Conservatoire de Paris and Carnegie Hall.

Duane Hulbert and Tanya Stambuk, acclaimed pianists and professors of music at Puget Sound, will perform Maurice Ravel’s powerful La Valse on two pianos. The piece, written originally for ballet, is imbued with both the grief of Europe’s devastation following the Great War and the ironically joyful nature of the waltz.

For the evening’s finale, all four pianists will deliver the thunder and elation of the 1812 Overture on two pianos, complete with reverberating cannons and bells.

The Jacobsen Series, named in honor of Leonard Jacobsen, former chair of the piano department at Puget Sound, has been running since 1984. The Jacobsen Series Scholarship Fund awards annual music scholarships to outstanding student performers and scholars. The fund is sustained entirely by season subscribers and ticket sales.

For tickets order online at, or call Wheelock Information Center at 253.879.6013 to purchase with a credit card. Admission is $12.50 for the general public; $8.50 for seniors (55+), students, military, and Puget Sound faculty and staff. The concert is free for current Puget Sound students with Puget Sound ID. Group ticket rates are available for parties of 10 or more by calling 253.879.3555 in advance. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door.

For directions and a map of the campus:
For accessibility information please contact or 253.879.3236.

Press photos of the four musicians are available upon request.
Photos on page: Top right: Ludwig van Beethoven, by WJ Maher (1815); Above left: Napolean at the St. Bernard Pass, by Jacques-Louis David (1800)

Tweet this: Whoa! Eight hands on two pianos playing Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture!  Fri., Nov. 9 @univpugetsound.

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