Thanksgiving Week Info

This week is optional for teachers and students to take lessons. If a lesson does occur, it will count towards your 16 Fall Semester Lessons. NMS does not include this week as a regular lesson week. This gives families a chance to take an extra lesson or make up a lesson. If you exceed your 16 Fall Semester Lessons, we will add to your first Spring Semester invoice.

Please be sure to verify with your teachers if lessons will be happening this week.

Final Concert: Mary Sauer with the CSO

NMS Families,

This Saturday, NMS's Faculty Chair and Principal Pianist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will bid farewell to being the full-time pianist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Sauer has had an amazing career being the CSO pianist for more than half of a century and has been looking forward to playing her final concert under the baton of James Levine. It is a double treat for both students and parents to have a chance to see Levine conduct Mary's last concert.

We have a very limited amount of tickets for the concert that are priced at $60 each which is 50% off of the Lower Balcony price of $125.

If you would like to attend, please fill out this simple form NLT tonight with the amount of tickets you would like. We will bill your accounts directly. Please note tickets are non-refundable.

Name *

Thank you,



About Ms. Sauer

Principal keyboardist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1959, at the invitation of Fritz Reiner, and keyboard coach, since 1962, of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Mary Sauer also has an outstanding reputation as a music educator. For 33 years she was on the DePaul University piano faculty and 22 years as head of the keyboard program. Her private studio, now located in the historic Fine Arts Building, where she also conducts monthly master classes, has produced many concert pianists, conductors, music directors and teachers worldwide. Sauer now serves as piano advisor and faculty chair for the New Music School.

Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Sauer received both bachelor’s and master’s performance degrees under full scholarship from the Chicago Musical College; her teachers have included mentor Rudolph Ganz, William Kapell and Irene Schneidmann.

A frequent CSO soloist on piano, celesta, organ and harpsichord, she has played concertos under Sir Georg Solti, Jean Martinon, Carlo Maria Giulini, Claudio Abbado, Rafael Kubelik, Zubin Mehta, Charles Dutoit, Walter Hendl, Alan Gilbert and Margaret Hillis, and is featured on many CSO recordings with Solti, Giulini, Leopold Stokowski, Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson Thomas, Pierre Boulez, James Levine and the Ravinia Festival Chamber Players. For 21 years, she was pianist for the Chicago Symphony Chorus.

Sauer, now in her sixth decade with the CSO, is the only full-time, principal keyboardist since the inception of the Orchestra in 1891, and she pioneered the establishment of the first such position in any symphony orchestra worldwide; she is distinguished for being the second woman to hold a CSO principal chair. Her popular lecture, The Many Faces of the Orchestral Keyboardist, elaborates on this position’s interesting scope.

Much in demand as soloist, chamber musician, lecturer and for master classes, she frequently performs as guest artist with other orchestras, and she had an 18-year association as soloist with the Wisconsin Peninsula Music Festival.

Having studied under Alexander Schneider, she has collaborated with the Chicago Symphony String Quartet, Symphony Chamber Soloists of Chicago, Alistaire Trio and Gilcrest Chamber Society. She is artistic advisor and coach for the International Chamber Artists.

Sauer, a Steinway Artist, received the Governor’s Award of the Chicago Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for her contributions in education, performance, recording and for her many years as the Orchestra’s keyboardist.

Mary Sauer resides in Highland Park (IL) with her husband Richard Hannenberg. Their daughter Kristin lives with her family in Forest Park (IL).


Magdalena Baczewska will be joining us this Saturday, October 15 at 4pm for a masterclass featuring Yamaha piano technology.  Join us at the recital hall for an hour and a half of musical exploration on the piano!

Magdalena is an accomplished pianist and Yamaha Artist who is currently Director of the Music Performance Program and Lecturer in Music at Columbia University. 

The program will feature the following students:

  • Lia Kim, student of Mary Sauer, playing Grieg, Piano Concerto in A minor, 3 mov.
  • Miles Jung, student of Jeffery Panko, playing Beethoven, Sonata in G minor, Op. 49 No. 1, Andante
  • Mark Zhu, student of Dr. Marie Alatalo, playing Schumann, The Horseman, Op. 68 No. 23
  • James Petros, student of Jeffery Panko, playing Chopin, Etude in F minor, Op.25 No.2

This event is open to the public.