Peanut Butter & Jam Sessions Directors

Michael Chertock

Artistic Director of Peanut Butter & Jam Sessions

Pianist Michael Chertock has fashioned a successful career as an orchestral soloist, collaborating with conductors such as James Conlon, Jaime Laredo, Keith Lockhart, Erich Kunzel and Andrew Litton. His many orchestral appearances include solo performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, l’Orchestre Symphonique du Montreal, the Toronto Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Naples Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, the Chattanooga Symphony, the Utah Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony and the Dayton Philharmonic.

Chertock serves as chair of the piano department at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, where he received his Master’s Degree as a student of Frank Weinstock.

He has garnered numerous awards at major competitions, among them the top prize in the 1989 Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition (Brahms Division,) and the grand prize in the 1993 St. Charles International Piano Competition. He also shared the silver medal in the 1991 World Piano Competition of the American Music Scholarship Association.

Chertock makes his home in Cincinnati with his wife Maaike, son Joshua and daughters Maria and Janneke. Most Sundays you can find him playing piano and organ for services at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.

For a full bio of Michael Chertock, visit


Elizabeth Hickerson

Education Director and Manager of Peanut Butter & Jam Sessions

Since the fall of 2016, Elizabeth Hickerson has served as the Education Director of Peanut Butter & Jam Sessions. She received her BME and MAT in Music Education from the University of Louisville and was the owner of Florence Music Academy and Little Songbird Music, an early childhood Musikgarten program. You may also have an opportunity to see her on stage as an actress in various community theater productions around Cincinnati.