Win tickets to Keyboard Concerts featuring Fresno wunderkind pianist Aidan Purtell

When 16-year-old Aidan Purtell takes the Fresno State Concert Hall stage this weekend (3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 9), he will be the youngest pianist to perform in the history of the Philip Lorenz International Keyboard Concerts series.

That’s a pretty heady accomplishment. And you can win a pair of tickets to witness it.

For the January episode of “The Munro Review on CMAC,” producer Kyle Lowe and I went on location to interview Purtell. It’s a compelling story about a young man with the talent and ambition to forge a significant career as a concert pianist. He also gives us a movement of one of the pieces that he will perform Sunday:

Purtell started taking lessons in 2015  at age 9 with Andreas Werz, artistic director of Keyboard Concerts.

“I immediately noticed his dedication, seriousness, and love for music,” Werz says. “He already had good musical instincts and considerable technical capabilities.”


And he’s only gotten better.

“Since then he has grown tremendously in every aspect. With his advanced analytical abilities he gains a profound understanding of the character and architecture of pieces. His technique is now at the highest level and enables him to transfer his interpretive conceptions with ease and stunning virtuosity in a wide variety of repertoire ranging from Bach to composers of the 20th and 21st centuries.”

Make no mistake: Werz does not schedule a special concert in the Keyboard series for just any good student. Purtell meets the threshold of remarkable.

The last local performer in the same age range was Eric Brelsford, also a student of Werz’s, who gave a solo concert for the Keyboard series about 20 years ago at age 17.

Superstar pianist Natasha Paremski, a familiar name both with Keyboard and Fresno Philharmonic audiences, also first performed at age 17 for the series at the start of her remarkable career.

Purtell’s recital is dedicated to the memory of Philip Lorenz, the internationally acclaimed concert pianist, piano professor at Fresno State, and founder of the Keyboard Concerts series, who passed away 30 years ago in January 1992.

A note for attendees: Covid-19 protocols have changed slightly for on-campus events. Children over 5 must show proof of vaccination or a negative test taken with 72 hours of the performance. Masks are required for all audience members.

For those who’d like to win tickets, the contest is open to members, donors and individual sponsors of The Munro Review.

Tax-deductible memberships start at $5 a month, and you can make a one-time donation of as little as $3. (Paid memberships help keep the site running, and paid members get special members-only benefits. Please consider a paid membership in support of independent, local arts journalism.) A free membership option is available.

For details on how to join, go to the Membership and Sponsorship page. No purchase, donation or membership is necessary to enter the ticket giveaway.

To enter this giveaway, leave a reply on this post (see the comments field below) answering this question: What were you good at when you were 16? (Or, if you’re shy, just give your name.) Deadline to enter is 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 8. The winner will be picked at random and notified by email. You’ll get the chance to pick which performance you’d like attend.

The Munro Review has no paywall but is financially supported by readers who believe in its non-profit mission of bringing professional arts journalism to the central San Joaquin Valley. You can help by signing up for a monthly recurring paid membership or make a one-time donation of as little as $3. All memberships and donations are tax-deductible.

Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

Comments (3)

  • Cleo Bauer

    16 is an amazing age to be so accomplished. Would love to win tix to attend !! At 16 I was a great waitress .. gave up piano after a year, at 13,!!

  • Janet Baker

    At 16 I was a good babysitter and accomplished seamstress. Alas my piano skills were mediocre at best.

  • John and Maureen Hayes

    We are always amazed at the local talents here in the valley. Admin will go on to great
    Things. I was good at playing the Sousa phone.


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