Welcome to PIANO BATTLE meets ORCHESTRA. Here is how the show starts: Two pianos face each other, surrounded by the empty chairs of the orchestra. At the back, besides the percussion section, five black and five white balloons are floating in the air. Right from the start, it is clear that this is no ordinary classical concert.

Spot on. The first person on stage is the percussionist of the orchestra. Following the drumroll, he announces, in the style of a boxing referee: Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to PIANO BATTLE meets ORCHESTRA. And here they are, please welcome as loud as you can the combative pianists tonight – Andreas Keeeern und Paul Cibiiiiis!

Both pianists come on stage and start to play on their pianos while the percussionist continues: On the left side, the man in the black suit. He has won already 243 Piano Battles by knock-out strikes… When he touches the keys, many female violinists want to throw away their instrument to play four hands with him… and On the right side, the man in the white suit, he has a Battle record of 244 k.o’s. His stage energy makes every flautist breathless...

The Battle begins – Chopin vs. Rachmaninov. The winner of the first round is allowed to invite one orchestra group to join his team. Which one will he chose? Can the loser of the round survive playing alone against such a team when we hear Mozart versus Wagner? And if he later turns the table and wins, which group will he pick?

PIANO BATTLE meets ORCHESTRA is the musical expansion of the first two PIANO BATTLE shows. The sound of the orchestra bring new qualities as well as new challenges to the scene. Apart from the audience, the orchestra is also actively involved in the show. The percussionist becomes the emcee who leads through the show and acts as a referee in the voting procedure. A double bass player gets involved in “sable dancing” while a “second” violinist gets an upgrade to the “First Class”…

The orchestra also plays two of their favourite pieces alone. Overall, the programme consists of everything from Mozart to Chopin, Khachaturian to the theme of Star Wars – but the exact details are to be determined by the audience and their votes. By choosing the winner of each round, they decide on the size and lineup of the playing teams, and, with that, their instrumental and musical options. In one round, you might hear two versions of the same Shostakovich waltz, each played by one of the pianists and a unique combinations of orchestra groups. Which version convinces you more? Open your ears!

How will the score be visualised this time? There is no moving of the pianos, and no iPad is in sight. The black and white balloons behind the orchestra symbolise the five “lives” of the combatants. At the end of each round, the percussionist bursts one of the loser’s balloons. Bang! In practice, there is only one winner: again, the audience.

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