Piano Duo Comes to TCPA

Monday, April 6, 2009

The community is invited to the Richard Dangle Theatre at the Townsend Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m. for an evening of sacred and classical music by Amy and Sara Hamann.

The community is invited to the Richard Dangle Theatre at the Townsend Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m. for an evening of sacred and classical music by Amy and Sara Hamann. Performing on the Townsend’s twin Bosendorfer Imperial Grand pianos on the University of West Georgia campus, the duo will perform sacred works by J.S. Bach, Schubert’s “Fantasia in F Minor,” Liszt's brooding and dramatic “Reminiscences de Don Juan,” as well as works by Milhaud and Mendelssohn.

Raised in Edina, Minnesota, Amy and Sara have been turning heads since they celebrated their fourth and fifth birthdays. They began their training by practicing at the Yamaha School of Music where instructors thought the look-alike sisters looked cute on a piano bench together.

From that spirited start, Amy and Sara soon decided being a piano duo was more than a charming pose. Throughout their education in Edina and at the University of Minnesota, the sisters dedicated themselves to piano duets.

The pianists made their professional debut at the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul as winners of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Concerto Competition. In 1999, the Hamanns became the youngest First Prize winners in the history of the Ellis Competition for Duo-Pianists, earning $10,000 and two years of concert dates.

“We sort of just breathe together and know what the other one is going to do,” said Amy. “We’re not twins, but we do have a very tight connection.”

That tight connection as well as thousands of hours of practice enabled the sisters to become the first American piano duo to win the Absolute First Prize in the 14th Concorso Pianistico Internazionale held in Rome in 2003.

In 2005, Amy and Sara traveled to Oslo, Norway to compete in the International Grieg Competition and returned home once again as the First Prize winners. In 2006, the sisters won the prestigious McKnight Artist Fellowship for Performing Musicians and a prize of $27,000.

The Hamanns perform twenty or more concerts a year and have recently released a debut CD. Their performances are a regular broadcast on national and international television and radio.

“It's probably unusual that two sisters get along as well as we do and share the same drive and passion,” said Sara. “But we think it's a gift, and we'd be crazy not to make the most of it.”

Tickets for the concert are $12 for adults, $9 for seniors and military, $5 for children and $7 for UWG students.  For ticket purchases, call the Townsend Center Box Office at 678-839-4722. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 10 a.m. until closing on show day.

For more information, visit www.townsendcenter.org.