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Monday, October 19, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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5 Browns to team up with Spokane Symphony

The Spokane Symphony will join these five virtuoso siblings, the 5 Browns, and their five pianos on stage Friday night. For the past eight years, they have been one of the biggest classical- crossover acts in the country.  Courtesy of Andrew Southam (Courtesy of Andrew Southam)
The Spokane Symphony will join these five virtuoso siblings, the 5 Browns, and their five pianos on stage Friday night. For the past eight years, they have been one of the biggest classical- crossover acts in the country. Courtesy of Andrew Southam (Courtesy of Andrew Southam)

When the 5 Browns last played Spokane two years ago, they filled The Fox with the sound of five Steinways at once.

The sound was nearly orchestral.

So you can imagine what their show will sound like this time around, Friday night at the Martin Woldson Theater. The entire Spokane Symphony will join these five virtuoso siblings and their five pianos on stage.

Let the arpeggios roar.

The 5 Browns are a classical music phenomenon. They learned to play as home-schooled kids in Utah and then became the first five-sibling group ever to be accepted into Juilliard. For the past eight years, they have been one of the biggest classical-crossover acts in the country.

The first half of the show – with the orchestra – will be much more classical than crossover. It will feature the Browns, ages 24 to 31, performing along with the symphony.

Melody Brown said she’ll join brothers Greg and Ryan for Mozart’s Triple Piano Concerto. Then, sisters Desirae and Deondra will play Poulenc’s Double Piano Concerto.

What, no quintuple-piano concerto?

They’d love to do one, but a five-piano concerto does not exist – yet.

The 5 Browns have commissioned a concerto by up-and-coming composer Nico Muhly, one of their fellow students at Juilliard.

“It will be the first-ever five-piano concerto,” said Desirae, by phone from their home base in Utah. “We’re so excited about this composer and so excited that he decided to work with us.”

The siblings will unleash all five pianos in the concert’s second half, which will be without the orchestra and much more like a typical 5 Browns concert. They’ll put those Steinways in a circle on the stage and let ’em rip.

They’ll play some music from their most recent CD, “The 5 Browns in Hollywood,” their first non-classical release, including John Williams’ “Star Wars” suite for five pianos.

They’ll also do a version of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” with all three sisters playing on one piano.

“And we’ll probably end with ‘Danse Macabre’ (by Saint-Saens), because that’s such a crazy piece, so much fun,” said Melody.

If you saw their PBS concert special – aired last week on KSPS-7 – you saw how much fun five people can have with this atmospheric piece. It was the show’s capper, and it brought down the house.

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