2013-2015: 4handsLA



4handsLA is L.A.’s “dazzlingly young” (Los Angeles Times) piano duo. Regular performers on the Jacaranda: Music on the Edge of Santa Monica series, the energetic duo of Steven Vanhauwaert and Danny Holt was introduced to audiences in 2009 in a performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

The Huffington Post wrote that the duo’s performance “created a sensation,” and LAOpus said of their Stravinsky performance: “The four-hand piano Sacre blazed like a comet through the hall. Both illuminating and liberating, one could only stand mute at the work’s astounding musical structure.  Vanhauwaert and Holt tore into this piece like furies, undeterred by daunting challenges.  It was a performance at turns propulsive and precise, aggressive and tender. What aplomb these two demonstrated!”

4handsLA was recently among seven finalists at the Liszt 200 Chicago International Duo Piano Competition, and in 2015 they are Artists-in-Residence at the L.A. Musical Salon for the third consecutive season.

The duo’s debut CD, Paris 1913, features their signature Stravinsky alongside other contemporaneous four-hand works from Paris by Ravel, Satie, and Poulenc.  A new CD, due out in early 2014, includes the rarely heard piano four-hands version of Stravinsky’s Petrushka. Other projects include tone poems by Liszt, and an upcoming program of dance-themed repertoire for piano four-hands, from Mozart to the present day.

Vanhauwaert and Holt are also active soloists, having performed at Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Concertgebouw, and other venues across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Vanhauwaert was the Grand Prize winner of the 2004 Los Angeles International Liszt Competition and his recent tour of China culminated at the National Center of Performing Arts in Beijing. Holt is a versatile performer known for championing contemporary works. His Fast Jump album (2009, Innova Recordings) received rave reviews from Gramophone magazine and has been heard on radio stations from coast to coast.

For more information, please visit: www.4handsLA.com

The Artists



Hailed by the Los Angeles Times for his “impressive clarity, sense of structure and monster technique,” Steven Vanhauwaert has garnered a wide array of accolades, including the Maurice Lefranc award, the Rotary Prize, the Galiot Prize and the USC Concerto Competition.

In October 2004, he won the Grand Prize at the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, which enabled him to tour through the US and Hungary.

To date, Mr. Vanhauwaert has appeared in major venues with orchestras such as the Pacific Symphony, the Flemish Symphony, the Oak Ridge Symphony, the USC Symphony, the Bryan Symphony, Collegium Instrumentale, the Concord Jazz Ensemble, the Auburn Symphony, the Eastern Sierra Chamber Orchestra, the Peninsula Symphony, and Prima la Musica, amongst others.

He performs frequently throughout Europe, Asia and the U.S., as a recitalist and in chamber music ensembles. He has been invited to perform in major concert venues such as the Concertgebouw in Brugge, Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, Bovard Auditorium in Los Angeles, the Singel in Antwerp, the Great Hall of the Brussels Conservatory, the Great Hall of the Budapest Liszt Conservatory, as well as numerous other prestigious venues in Bulgaria, Hungary, China, the U.S., the Netherlands, France, Canada, the U.K., Austria, and Spain. His China solo debut tour in June 2010, culminating with a debut at the renowned National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, was received with great critical acclaim. He was immediately offered a solo tour for the next season, with performances in the prestigious Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, amongst others.

He has been a frequent guest in festivals, such as the Jacaranda Music Festival, the Festival of Flanders, the Eastern Sierra Music Festival, Musik Zentral, the Malibu Coast Music Festival, the Sundays-at-Two series, the Salastina Festival, le Salon de Musiques, the Sundays Live Series, the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, and Euterpe, among many others.

An avid champion of lesser known repertoire, Mr. Vanhauwaert has given the West Coast premiere of Messiaen’s Fantaisie for violin and piano at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, and the U.S. premiere of Eric Tanguy’s Piano Trio. In 2013, he gave the U.S. premiere of the Scharwenka Piano Quintet at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Los Angeles. He frequently performs works by Walter Arlen, Emilio Colon, Viktor Ullman, Leon Kirchner, Jeroen D’hoe, Nico Abondolo, Chen Yi, Tan Dun, Maria Newman, Gernot Wolfgang, Tobias Picker, and Karel Goeyvaerts, to name a few.

In 2010, his first album with works by Schumann, Schubert, Liszt, Chopin, and Debussy was well received in the press. His performances have been broadcast live on networks such as K-MZT, K-CSN, K-USC, K-PFK, W-HKB, W-UOT, K-UAT, W-FMT, RTBF, WTV, PBS, and KLARA.

Mr. Vanhauwaert conducted his piano studies in Brussels at the Royal Conservatory under the auspices of Boyan Vodenitcharov. He continued his musical development in Los Angeles with professors Kevin Fitz-Gerald, James Bonn, and John Perry at the USC Thornton School of Music. He is frequently invited to give guest lecture recitals and master classes in universities throughout the world.

More info at: http://www.stevenpiano.com/



Pianist Danny Holt is one of a new generation of innovative young musicians ushering classical music into the 21st century. Called “phenomenal” by the late music critic Alan Rich (SoIveHeard.com), and hailed as one of the “local heroes” of the Los Angeles music scene (LAcitybeat.com), Mr. Holt brings his boundless energy and wit to unique interpretations of new music, 20th-century music, and obscure, unusual, and neglected repertoire. He is equally at home whether performing on the concert stage, in an intimate house concert, or in one of his elaborate multimedia performances where classical music meets rock concert aesthetics and a performance art sensibility.

Mr. Holt has performed nationwide in venues as diverse as Carnegie Hall (New York), REDCAT (Los Angeles), MASS MoCA (North Adams, Mass.), Machineworks (Portland, Ore.), and Joe’s Pub (New York), and he has performed and given guest lectures at music schools and universities across the U.S. and abroad.

In 2005, Mr. Holt embarked on his first international solo concert tour, performing contemporary piano music in concert halls, galleries, clubs, churches, and living rooms across North America and Europe. The Daily Hampshire Gazette (Amherst, Mass.) called Mr. Holt’s performance “simply outstanding” and The Record (Waterloo, Ontario) called him “the classical music equivalent of an extreme sports athlete.”

Mr. Holt’s acclaimed CD of that program, Fast Jump (Innova Recordings) was produced by Mike Garson (pianist for David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, No Doubt, Smashing Pumpkins, etc.) The album includes the first complete recording of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang’s memory pieces, alongside world premiere recordings of works by Graham Fitkin, Caleb Burhans, Jascha Narveson, and Lona Kozik. Fast Jump has been heard on radio stations from New York to Chicago to San Francisco, and places in between. Gramophone called the album “a compelling showcase for Holt’s innate virtuosity and gregarious temperament” and WNYC’s John Schaefer selected the CD as one of the best new releases of 2009.

Mr. Holt’s more recent albums are characterized by extreme contrasts: release (2010) is a self-released CD that explores more muted, introspective musical territory than the rhythmically-charged music of Fast Jump. The catalyst of release was the unexpected passing of Mr. Holt’s father in 2008, and the music attempts to portray the complexity of grief. From the opposite end of the musical spectrum, Music of Mark Dresser (pfMENTUM, 2010) is the debut album by Skaller/Holt Duo, Mr. Holt’s project with pianist Philip Skaller. The two take Mark Dresser’s deconstructions of the jazz idiom as a point of departure for radical new music for two pianos, fusing improvisation with an obsessive deconstruction of rhythm, form, and the piano itself.

His 2002 self-released debut CD, Right Now, was called “eclectic and fun” (The Reminder, Springfield, Mass.), and “an offbeat take on the classics…cutting edge” (Daily Hampshire Gazette, Amherst, Mass.) Other past projects include the multimedia performance piece Eusebius (2003), which combines live piano performance with an original film based on Erik Satie’s Vexations, and Innovators, Mavericks, and “Bad Boys” (2006), a multimedia performance piece centered around early 20th century American composers, with original videos narrated by eminent experimental composer James Tenney.

A specialist in contemporary music, Mr. Holt has been a fellow at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Institute, the New England Conservatory Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice, and the Weill Music Workshop at Carnegie Hall. He is frequently seen performing in the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, and on Santa Monica’s Jacaranda: Music at the Edge series. He has performed with the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the California EAR Unit, The Robin Cox Ensemble, CalArts New Century Players, and the Calder Quartet.

Among Mr. Holt’s ambitious solo projects is The Piano/Percussion Project. Over 20 composers have created new works for his unique setup in which he plays piano and an array of percussion instruments simultaneously. Since Mr. Holt is known for his virtuosic, no-holds-barred performances, it is no surprise that composers from around the world continue to contribute pieces to this collection. Mr. Holt unveiled new versions of The Piano/Percussion Project throughout the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons, including performances at REDCAT (Los Angeles), CNMAT (Berkeley), The Switchboard Festival (San Francisco), Rice University, and Princeton University.

In addition to championing the works of emerging composers, Mr. Holt has worked with such composers as Steve Reich, Louis Andriessen, Christian Wolff, Arthur Jarvinen, James Tenney, Graham Fitkin, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Augusta Read Thomas, Jo Kondo, and Michael Finnissy, among others.

In 2001, Mr. Holt became a Yamaha Young Performing Artist, a distinction reserved for only ten musicians each year. In 1999 he won a prestigious award from the National Alliance for Excellence, which was presented to him by composer Philip Glass. He has also received numerous awards and grants from ASCAP, the American Composers Forum, the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music, and the National Federation for Advancement in the Arts.

Mr. Holt holds degrees from California Institute of the Arts, Hampshire College, Smith College, and Interlochen Arts Academy. He is also a percussionist, composer, teacher, and scholar. He resides in Los Angeles, where he serves on the faculty of the Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts.

More info at: http://dannyholt.net