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  • Writer's picturePress Release

Two Pianists, Six Rounds! Piano Battle comes to the Sandler Center

Two Pianists, Sandler Center

Words and Images Courtesy of the Sandler Center

Who is the better pianist? That is the very theme of PIANO BATTLE—a concert armed with charm and chutzpah that pushes the limits of classical convention. The answer is not so obvious, as Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis, two markedly different yet equally skilled opponents, are pit against one another in this antagonistic, one-of-a-kind battle.

Whether or not they are friends in real life, mercy is the last thing on their minds when this talented pair fights on stage. Winning the heart of the audience is the only thing that counts. The brainchild of international pianists Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis, the PIANO BATTLE sees the duo go head-to-head on stage, charming and enchanting the audience with a variety of classical pieces.

“Classical music should be fun. And this is something these two men convey for two hours more playfully than anyone who tried before.” - Münchner Abendzeitung, Germany

The beauty of classical music is front and center as these globally acclaimed pianists tackle their challenge with a virtuosic and energetic approach. Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninov and Scriabin? No problem. But this 90-minute show is not only about piano playing. Andreas and Paul turn to the audience to determine who can better play the piano and ping pong at the same time. Who is the better improvisor? Who is delivering the best jokes and punchlines? A competition wouldn’t be a competition without a jury, and in this battle, all members of the audience are invited to vote on the pianists’ performances and ultimately crown the winner. In PIANO BATTLE, audience members play an active role in a way that enhances both the musical and entertainment experience. From the word go, one thing is clear: when the two pianists fight, the audience watches with delight.

Originally created for the Hong Kong City Festival, PIANO BATTLE has been performed for sold-out audiences in Europe, the United States and Asia, including the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, Seoul Arts Center and an open-air spectacle before 6,000 fans in Taiwan. The show has also been well received in the pianists’ home country where Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis have performed for enthusiastic audiences in concert halls and at festivals all over Germany.

ABOUT THE SANDLER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS: The Sandler Center opened on November 3, 2007 and is managed by Oak View Group (OVG360). With 1,308 seats and a soaring glass façade, the building is located in the heart of Virginia Beach’s Town Center, a hub for cultural entertainment. With local and international talent visiting the Sandler Center, performances are perfect for audiences of all ages. Patrons will experience an intimate environment when visiting the Sandler Center, as no seat is further than 100 ft. from the stage. Learn more at and Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


OVG360, a division of Oak View Group, is a full-service venue management and hospitality company that helps client-partners reimagine the sports, live entertainment, and convention industries for the betterment of the venue, employees, artists, athletes, and surrounding communities. With a portfolio of more than 200 client-partners spanning arenas, stadiums, convention centers, performing arts centers, cultural institutions, and state fairs around the globe, OVG360 provides a set of services, resources and expertise designed to elevate every aspect of business that matters to venue operators. Service-oriented and driven by social responsibility, OVG360 helps facilities drive value through excellence and innovation in food services, booking and content development, sustainable operations, public health and public safety and more.

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