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This pianist created Easter Island's first music school. Now, she's bringing her music to Kansas City

Pianist Mahani Teave performs at The Rapa Nui School of Music and the Arts on Easter Island
Courtesy of Artist
Pianist Mahani Teave performs at The Rapa Nui School of Music and the Arts on Easter Island

At the cross section of classical piano, environmental activism, arts education and the remote South Pacific island of Rapa Nui — also known as Easter Island — you’ll find the award-winning pianist and humanitarian Mahani Teave. Christy L'Esperance talks with Teave about her work and coming to Kansas City to perform. We'll hear her play traditional melodies from Rapa Nui as well as solo piano works by Bach, Liszt, Scriabin and Rachmaninoff.


Christy L'Esperance


Mahani Teave

Scroll down for some online only bonus content and learn about the long journey to get pianos to a remote place like Easter Island.


I he- a Hotumatu Ia, in E-Flat

Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue in D minor, BWV903
by Johann Sebastian Bach

Ballade No. 2 in B minor, S171 / R16
by Franz Liszt

Prelude & Nocturne, Op. 9
by Alexander Scriabin

Moment musical in E Minor, Op. 16 / 4
by Sergei Rachmaninoff

Pianist Mahani Teave
Courtesy of Artist
Pianist Mahani Teave

All music performed by Mahani Teave on her album "Rapa Nui Odyssey."

Mahani will perform a free Harriman-Jewell Series Discovery Concert at the Folly Theater on Friday, September 9th at 7pm. Tickets and more info can be found at

Bonus Content
Moving a piano anywhere is a challenge, but when you need to move a baby grand piano to a remote island in the South Pacific, it comes with added layers of complexity. Mahani Teave explains how she helped get pianos to Easter Island.

Kansas City native Christy L’Esperance (pronounced “LESS-per-ahns") started listening to classical music on the Snoopy radio she got for her 4th birthday. Today, as Classical KC’s Community Engagement Specialist and On-Air Host, she enjoys classical music through much better speakers. You can reach Christy at She would love to hear about the ways you keep music in your life.
Sam Wisman is a Senior Producer for 91.9 Classical KC and a backup announcer for KCUR 89.3. Email him at