Beethoven and All That Jazz

Sunday, 6 October 2019 - 4:00pm

 Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra

513 Ship St.

St. Joseph, MI 49085



Join us for an energetic and innovative Concerto for Jazz Piano.  Originally commissioned by the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra in 2011, this piece incorporates styles ranging from Oscar Preston, to Rachmaninoff, to TV music from the 1970’s to European cinema , Ragtime and Gospel.  Concerto for Jazz Piano was written by Larry Schanker, who will also be bringing this inspired piece to life.  In addition, the SMSO will be performing Weber’s Der Freischutz Overture and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. The concert will be on Sunday, October 6, at the Howard Performing Arts Center at 4:00 pm, with a pre-concert conversation at 3:00 pm.


Larry Schankerhas been writing music for theatre, film, dance, and the concert hall for almost 35 years.  The Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra commissioned his Fantasia for Drumline and Orchestra, which featured the Benton Harbor High School Drumline and the Benton Harbor Boys and Girls Club Drumline.  Previously, the SMSO commissioned Schanker's Concerto for Jazz Piano, which premiered in 2011 with the composer at the piano.  His theatrical credits include a great deal of work at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and run the gamut from Shakespeare to Chekhov.  Schanker has also worked in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York with The Second City. 

Larry is an avid Silent Film Accompanist, having performed at the Sounds of Silents Film Festival in Three Oaks, MI, the Bartelow Center in South Bend, IN, and the Indiana University Cinema in Bloomington, IN.  The University of Notre Dame commissioned his original score, written for piano and harp, for the silent film version of Peter Pan.  Each year, he performs a weekend of Silent Films for the Coastline Children’s Film Festival.

Larry’s other passion is Montessori education.  He is currently Executive Director at Brookview Montessori School in Benton Harbor, Michigan, where he has taught music for the past 20 years.  He is also a teacher trainer for the Institute for Montessori Innovation at Westminster College in Salt Lake City and at the Teacher Education Program of Shanghai.

Dr. Schanker holds a Bachelors and a Masters Degree from Northwestern and a PhD in Music Composition from The University of Chicago.


None of our events would be possible without the support of our wonderful community. We would like to thank our sponsors: Lake Michigan College, 90.7 FM WAUS, WNIT, National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for Arts and Culture


Tickets can be purchased by calling 269-982-4030 or by going to



Beethoven and All That Jazz

WHAT:Beethoven and All That Jazz
WHEN: October 6, 2019, pre-concert discussion 3:00 pm, concert starts 4:00 pm

WHO: The Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra and Larry Schanker

WHERE: The Howard Performing Arts Center

TICKETS: $20.00 Zone B Tickets, $35.00 Zone A Tickets

Copyright © 2020