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Open Air show to feature dueling pianos

High River Gift of Music partnering with Honens Festival to bring classical concert to George Lane Memorial Park.
SCENE-High River concert
Honens artistic director Jon Kimura Parker will play and narrate during an outdoor concert in High River on Sept. 11.

High River Gift of Music is partnering with Calgary’s Honens Festival to bring their ever-popular Open Air show to High River. 

George Lane Memorial Park will be home to this free, family-friendly concert featuring two Steinway grand pianos and three amazing pianists on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 2 p.m. 

The performance will include selections from George Gershwin, Robert Schumann, Frederic Chopin and William Hirtz and concludes with a spectacular arrangement of Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. 

Carnival combines music and verse to bring to life a number of feathered and furry creatures in a very humourous way. Those at the concert will hear the swan, elephant, tortoise, cuckoo, lion and kangaroo. The composer even pokes fun at the dueling pianists. 

Honens artistic director Jon Kimura Parker introduces each of these musical vignettes with narration. The Bergmann Piano Duo and cellist Arnold Choi provide the music. Choi will also be performing a few selections with the artistic director, who is one of Canada’s best known classical musicians, recognized for his charisma and infectious enthusiasm as well as his piano chops. 

The Honens International Piano Competition, based in Calgary, was created by Esther Honens to leave a legacy of musical excellence to be enjoyed for generations. In 1991, knowing she was near the end of her life, Honens gave $5 million to endow an international piano competition in her hometown. 

Her generosity, vision, and love of music continue to touch the lives of Calgarians, Canadians, musicians and music-lovers around the world. 

Since 1992, some of the best rising stars in the world have come to Calgary to compete for a large cash prize and career development plan that offers concerts and recordings, and prepares laureates for the rigours and realities of professional careers in music. 

High River Gift of Music has been proud to present many of its laureates and has offered numerous master classes for local young artists.  

High River Gift of Music is a non-profit society that has been bringing extraordinary classical music to the High River community since 2009, featuring performances that bridge cultures and eras to inspire, educate and unite audience members. For more information, visit