A duet is different than a duo. Christina and Michelle Naughton are not a duet. They will not be sitting at the same piano, sharing the keyboard. Instead, the Naughton sisters are duo-pianists. They will each have their own grand piano, facing each other with the giant soundboards fitting together like 2 puzzle pieces. They are performing as part of the Virginia Arts Festival on Wednesday, May 16 at the Robin Hixon Theater in the Clay and Jay Barr Education Center on Bank Street in Norfolk.
The Naughton sisters have been playing the piano since the age of four. Their mother was their first teacher. They are not just sisters, they are identical twins. Music was something that they always loved and did as a family, but they never thought of playing as a duo until just after they graduated from high school. By then, they were both accomplished pianists and on their way to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Someone asked if they would play a duo-piano piece in a concert. They tried playing together and loved it.
Michelle Naughton admits that the sisters grew up with their own “twin language”, a short hand way of communicating with each other. Playing as duo-pianists, they discovered a different way of communicating with each other. Michelle says, “The most difficult part of playing as duo-pianists is playing with the same voice. It is something we have worked really hard to achieve.” Their teachers at Curtis and then at Julliard gave them extra coaching in playing as a duo.
Michelle feels it has brought her and Christina even closer. When they play the classic pieces composed for duo-pianists, such as Chopin’s Rondo in C Major for Two Pianos, it is a “symbolic representation of our friendship and sisterhood”.
They are best friends as well as sisters. They have traveled the world together. They are just returning from New Zealand, where they toured with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Michelle says she loves traveling and performing with Christina. In their late 20’s, they are at the beginning of what promises to be a long musical career. “We are so lucky. Who wouldn’t want to travel with and work with their best friend?” “Paired to perfection”, Christina and Michelle Naughton will perform some of the great classics for two pianos and four hands on Wednesday, May 16 at 7:30 pm.
For more information and to purchase tickets go to