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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County



Written By Editor on 4/19/22 | 4/19/22


Hunter, NY – April 19, 2022 – Catskill Mountain Foundation’s Academy of Fortepiano Performance presents International Fortepiano Salon 10,  The Fortepiano Connection: From Amsterdam to Japan and Boston, on April 23, 2022 at 8 PM (EDT). The virtual event will be hosted by Academy of Fortepiano Performance faculty Maria Rose and Yi-heng Yang, and livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube.












Sylvia Berry, (l.) and Chie Hirai (r.)



Salon 10 features renowned fortepianists Sylvia Berry and Chie Hirai performing piano music of Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. Berry and Chie met years ago while studying the fortepiano in Holland and are now established fortepianists with their own unique accomplishments in their respective countries, the US (Boston) and Japan. Their friendship and mutual respect will be evident as they share their latest research and projects, and their lives as fortepianists in general.


Salon host Yiheng Yang will also share a sneak peak of her recent recording of music by Fanny Hensel, Robert Schumann, and Franz Schubert. This album, entitled  "Free Spirits: Early Romantic Music on the Graf Piano", will be released in May on the Deux-Elles label.


Sylvia Berry is one of North America's leading exponents of historical keyboard instruments. A Philadelphia native based in the Boston area, she has played countless types of fortepianos, harpsichords, organs, and clavichords, including many noteworthy antiques. Her recording of Haydn's "London Sonatas” on an 1806 Broadwood & Son grand (#3448, restored by Dale Munschy) drew critical acclaim; a reviewer in Early Music America proclaimed her “a complete master of rhetoric, whether in driving passagework or in cantabile adagios,” while a review in Fanfare stated, “To say that Berry plays these works with vim, vigor, verve, and vitality, is actually a bit of an understatement." Of her concertizing, Cleveland Classical enthused: “Her splendid playing took her up and down the keyboard in lightning-fast scales and passagework, and her thrilling full-voiced chords allowed the fortepiano to assert itself as a real solo instrument.” Though primarily a fortepianist, Berry’s engagement with a wide variety of keyboard instruments and repertoire has informed her musicianship and understanding of historical performance practices for 25 years.


Chie Hirai studied piano at the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, graduating with a Bachelor of Music in 1997 before specializing on the fortepiano under Stanley Hoogland at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague where she received her Master’s Degree in 2002 with distinction. In 2006, the inaugural recital of Chie’s recital series, “Composers fascinated by Viennese Pianos” was welcomed enthusiastically by critics:  “The music had its own breath under her fingers, the instrument must be rather difficult to control, but she had a complete command to allow her to choose the proper sonorities with the right taste. The performance was of highest quality”. (MUSICA NOVA, Tokyo) In the ensuing years, Chie has won international acclaim through competitions and performances, having been described as “the expert of this instrument…(a) virtuoso without any trace of vanity…” (Wiener Zeitung) Chie is currently in demand as a soloist and chamber musician in various ensembles in both Europe and Japan.


Academy of Fortepiano Performance (AFP) will hold its annual workshop and festival June 11-19, 2022. AFP co-founders Audrey Axinn, Maria Rose and Yi-heng Yang have arranged a full schedule including masterclasses with Sylvia Berry and Pierre Goy, an improvisation workshop with John Mortensen, “Galant Continuo” with Therese de Goede, and concerts by faculty, students and Pierre Goy.


Watch the free virtual salon on Facebook and YouTube on April 23, 2022 at 8PM EDT. Register at or to receive the Salon 10 links. For more information about the Academy of Fortepiano Performance International Salon 10 or the Academy of Fortepiano Performance Workshop and Festival, visit or


About the Academy of Fortepiano Performance

The Academy of Fortepiano Performance was co-founded by fortepianists Audrey Axinn, Maria Rose, and Yi-heng Yang in 2017 to provide an inspiring and practical immersion into the world of historical performance for students, professionals, amateurs, and audiences. Hosted by the Catskill Mountain Foundation Piano Performance Museum in the idyllic mountain setting of Hunter, New York,  the intimate performance hall, impressive piano museum, and comfortable student lodging are all in close proximity to each other and just 2 1/2 hours north of New York City. The Academy is open to students, professionals, and adult amateurs. Visit or for more information.


About Catskill Mountain Foundation
The Catskill Mountain Foundation’s (CMF) aim is to provide educational opportunities in the arts for youth and lifelong learners, to bring the experience of the arts to the Catskill community, and to support artists and art organizations in the development of their work through residencies. Since its founding in 1998, CMF has presented hundreds of music, dance, and theater performances; screened over 1,000 films to tens of thousands of audience members; provided studio arts classes to thousands of students of all ages; and served thousands of art-loving patrons in the Catskill Mountain Foundation Gift Shop.


Since 1998, CMF has raised, generated, and invested close to $16 million in facility development and an excess of $42 million in programming operations, for a total investment in the Catskill community of over $58 million. CMF believes that the arts can transform the lives of those touched by it and can transform the community. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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