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Think of tonight's MonsterPianos concert as a toy aisle of classical music, with 26 pianists taking turns at tickling the ivories on eight grand pianos in an awesome display of technical prowess. "You can go hear orchestra concerts and solo recitals," says Philip Thomson, who heads the piano studies division at the University of Akron's School of Music. "This is technically classical music, but children can sit through this, and adults that don't like classical music enjoy this." During the concert, a "piano cam" will capture onscreen the pianists' hands flying up and down the keyboards as they perform pieces by Bach, Schumann, and Dvorak. "It's obviously a rich sound, but it doesn't sound like one piano magnified. It sounds like eight separate pianos," says Thomson. "It's a very exuberant sound." At one point, nine musicians will simultaneously play on the same piano, struggling to find arm space between each body. "It's actually hilarious to watch," says Thomson. The concert starts at 3 this afternoon at E.J. Thomas Hall, 198 Hill Street in Akron. Tickets are $5 to $10. Call 330-972-8301 or visit
Sun., March 30, 3 p.m., 2008

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