Aaron Jay Kernis, who recently left the Minnesota Orchestra’s Composer Institute during the recent lockout, is a major figure contemporary classical music. He trained with influential teachers such as John Adams and Jacob Druckman and studied on both the west and east coasts. His music is colorful, imaginative, and evocative. In Superstar Etude #1 the pianist is asked to speak and shout while playing (with elbows!) dramatic passages, often at full volume. Kernis is redefining the showpiece.