Pianist Travels The Amazon To Share Classical Music With Impoverished Youth

Jan 10, 2019

Panos Karan grew up with a piano in his home and a dad who loved to play on it for fun. At age 7, Karan asked for lessons, and while some would say it was the beginning of his road to becoming a concert pianist, his first piano teacher would disagree. She thought Karan had little potential, but he kept at it.

Inspired by the advanced piano students he met in London, Karan began working hard and setting goals for the future, including a dream of playing one day at Carnegie Hall. He achieved that goal at age 25, but something was missing.

When Karan looked out into the audience he primarily saw people of wealth and privilege, so he set a new goal: to share classical music with new audiences. Through his non-profit organization Keys of Change, Karan has taught, played, and formed youth orchestras in countries from Sierra Leone to Siberia.

Karan joins host Frank Stasio to share stories of traveling the Amazon river with his keyboard and to talk about his upcoming show with Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle on Sunday, Jan. 13 at 3 p.m. at Carolina Theatre of Durham.