Bringing the Art of Dance and Live Music Together

Artistic Director, Gary Taylor, along with pianists Chris Heckman, Pamela Howland, Barbara Lister-Sink, and Morgan Hunkele, celebrate these timeless classics.
This performance was presented in March as part of the celebration of Beethoven’s 250 Birthday




Thoughts and insights about the composers

From Gary Taylor, Artistic Director
BEETHOVEN, Bold and Challenging
Barbara Lister-Sink, Pianist

“Beethoven’s work had great commercial success in his day and remains true today. His work is familiar, popular, and likeable. An epic journey exists in his work and it revels in the grandeur of the moment.

I am drawn to the repetitive phrases and create with great energy and drive. Beethoven built these marvelous themes and variations.”

CHOPIN, Lighthearted
Pamela Howland, Pianist

“Chopin’s music is light and softly motivated. I’m drawn to Chopin’s depth and yet space in his compositions. His allegros, though driven, are fluid, gentle, and beautiful all at the same time. “

RACHMANINOFF, Introspective
Chris Heckman, Pianist

“Rachmaninoff’s work can be very weighted and bipolar. His works come from a place of intense thought and motivation. His adagio feels distraught, heavy-hearted. The rhythms are verbose and weighty. He lives in a place of complexity. The sweep has a deeper, heavier feel. Dealing with an internal struggle.”

RAKOWSKI, In the moment

“I’m presenting 3 of 100 etudes. There is a broken, abstract, dissonant quality to his work. There is a fluid conflict, the rhythms are complex and challenging. His exploration of abstract ways to explore rhythms and counter rhythms is incredibly innovative and current.”

Meet the Pianists

CHRIS HECKMAN, Rachmaninoff
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CHRIS HECKMAN, composer of music for film, commercials, video games, and dance, holds a B.M. in Music Composition from Florida State University, an M.F.A. in Film Music Composition from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and a Ph.D. in Music Composition for Visual Media (the first and only degree of its kind) from the University of California, Los Angeles.

In 2011, Chris returned to his alma mater as a faculty member to become Chair of Film Music Composition at UNCSA. Dancing Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff & Rakowski marks one of five collaborations with the Winston-Salem Festival Ballet. He also composed original music for Dracula (2012-19), Metropolis (2012, 2014, 2019) Angels in Our Midst (2013, 2018), and Journey of Honor (2016).

Chris is an active professional musician in the Triad. He is the Organist & Accompanist at Ardmore Moravian Church, Tenor Section Leader with the Piedmont Chamber Singers, and an occasional keyboard player with both the Winston-Salem and Greensboro Symphonies.

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PAMELA HOWLAND is a gifted American pianist, Steinway Artist, 2017-18 U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Poland, arranger/composer, and educator based in North Carolina (formerly of Wake Forest University Department of Music). She has performed coast to coast in the U.S. and in Europe and South America, and holds the D.M.A. in Piano Performance from the Eastman School of Music. Fred Child, host of American Public Media’s popular NPR classical radio program, PERFORMANCE TODAY says Howland ”is on a fascinating musical journey.” She has recorded 18 CDs, has 10,000 monthly listeners on SPOTIFY, and her version of Chopin’s “Farewell Waltz, has over 11 MILLION listens. For more go to

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BARBARA LISTER-SINK, internationally acclaimed pianist and acknowledged global leader in injury-preventive keyboard technique, is a graduate of Smith College, the Utrecht Conservatory and holds an Ed.D. from Columbia University. A Steinway Artist since 1977, Lister-Sink has performed and recorded as soloist and with many of the world’s most distinguished musicians throughout North America, Europe, and Australia.Her DVD Freeing the Caged Bird – Developing Well-Coordinated, Injury-Preventive Piano Technique won the 2002 MTNA-Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award.  Presently Artistic Director of the Salem College School of Music and Director of the Graduate Music Program, she has taught on the Eastman School of Music Artist Faculty and was formerly keyboardist for the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra prior to returning to her native state. Recently, Lister-Sink was chosen by Musical America Global as one of America’s “30 Top Professionals of 2018” who have contributed to the music profession as innovators, independent thinkers, and visionary leaders. A visual artist herself, she enjoys creative collaboration with poets, actors, visual artists, and dancers.

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MORGAN HUNKELE has been a prizewinner in the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, the Charlotte Steinway Piano Competition, the Greensboro Euterpe Club Instrumental Competition, the Triad Institute Young Artist Competition, the North Carolina Bach Festival Young Artist Competition, and for three consecutive years in the North Carolina MTNA Piano Competitions. She has appeared as a guest artist in the Music for a Great Space Concert series, as a soloist with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, and as a returning guest artist of the North Carolina Bach Festival. Last month, she performed solo recitals in Winston-Salem and Concord, North Carolina, and in 2018 organized and gave an interactive lecture-recital entitled “The Creativity Workshop.” As a collaborative artist, Ms. Hunkele works with soprano Elizabeth Pacheco Rose and her students at Wake Forest. She has also collaborated with soprano Lindsay Kesselman, and bassoonist Saxton Rose.  Ms. Hunkele is currently an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts studying with Dmitri Shteinberg.

Thank you to Piedmont Music Center for supplying the piano for this performance.