German pianists Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis will go head to head at Piano Battle on Friday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the John W. Hart Auditorium.
Floor tickets are $7 for BYU-Idaho students and $14 for the general public, according to the BYU-I Center Stage webpage. Bleacher seats will be $5 for BYU-I students and $10 for the general public. Tickets can be bought online at byui.edu or at the ticket office in the Hyrum Manwaring Center.
Andreas Kern, one of the creators and performers of Piano Battle, said Piano Battle is a battle between him and his co-creator, Paul Cibis, where the audience decides the fate of the two performers.
“We have six rounds,” Kern said. “At the end, after 90 minutes, there is one winner and this winner takes it all.”
Kern said there is also one round where they pick one individual from the audience to decide who they think won.
Kern said during Piano Battle, they will invite audience members on stage, and they will go into the audience themselves.
“We basically break every rule of a normal classical concert,” Kern said.
Kern said he and Cibis created Piano Battle when they were pitted against each other for the same time slot at a music festival in Hong Kong in 2009.
“We played against each other to fight for who would get the next festival solo slot,” Kern said. “We really improvised and they liked it so much that it was sold out. They then invited us back again one year later for Piano Battle and that is how the whole thing was born.”
Cibis said they have prepared some pieces by Chopin, Liszt, Debussy and some other composers that are more romantic in style.
“There are some pieces that are slower in mood and more intimate in mood,” Cibis said.
Kern said they also ask the audience for some suggestions on the pieces they play.
“We ask the audience to suggest certain composers, pieces and mood and then we improvise on it,” Kern said.
Kern said Rexburg will be their first show in their United States tour. He said they will be touring the country for four and a half weeks and will be playing 13 or 14 shows.
“Travelling around and meeting so many different kinds of people will be very exciting,” Kern said.
Kern said they have been to the United States before but not these parts of the country.
“For me, I’m excited for the different pianos,” Cibis said.
Kerns said they produced a preview video for Rexburg that can be found on BYU-I’s website.
Cibis said they would like to reach those who are music students but also those who aren’t.
“Come and enjoy,” Cibis said. “I think it’s for people who are not so much into classical music but people who like to be entertained.”