Browsing: Piano

Amid the excitement over a rediscovered rehearsal tape of the composer playing Symphonic Dances, there arrives a new account of two concertos with Rachmaninov’s favourite orchestra and the living pianist who most resembles him. Deutsche Grammophon has titled the album Destination Rachmaninov. Departure and furnished the cover with a portrait of the soloist, Daniil Trifonov, sitting in the kind of railway compartment that went out with shellac records. Do not be distracted by these marketing tricks. Trifonov opens with C minor concerto with quiet authority, each chord darker than the one before, Rachmaninov at his most morose. If this concerto had a…

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Camille Saint-Saens was the first Frenchman to compose piano concertos. Of the five that he wrote between 1858 and 1886, only the second gets much play and one hears few claims that the rest are scandalously neglected. Some connoisseurs consider the fourth his best. Most agree that the fifth, a pastiche of tunes supposedly sung by Egyptian boatmen at Luxor, falls somewhere between embarrassing and irredeemable. The Canadian pianist Louis Lortie and the young Frenchman Bertrand Chamayou have kicked off cycles of the concertos on their respective labels. Lortie, vastly experienced, plays 1, 2 and 4 on his release, never…

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CALGARY, Canada, September 7, 2018 — Georgian pianist Nicolas Namoradze (age 26) has been named Prize Laureate of the 2018 Honens International Piano Competition. He wins the world’s largest prize for piano $100,000 (CAD) and an Artist Development Program valued at a half-million dollars.  Finalists Han Chen (Taiwan / age 26) and Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner (United States / age 21) each received Raeburn Prizes of $10,000 (CAD), and for the first time in Honens’ history an Audience Award of $5,000 (CAD) was presented to Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner. “What a wonderful thing for Honens … what a wonderful thing for Nicolas Namoradze!” says Neil Edwards, Honens’ President & CEO.…

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Calgary, Canada, September 4, 2018—The three Finalists for the top prize at the 2018 Honens International Piano Competition were announced just after midnight in Calgary, following five intense days of Semifinals. Han Chen (Taiwan / age 26), Nicolas Namoradze (Georgia / age 26), and Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner (United States / age 21), will vie for the title of Honens Prize Laureate and be awarded the world’s largest prize of its kind—$100,000 (CAD) and an Artistic Development Program valued at a half-million dollars. “The Jury had a difficult, if not nearly impossible, task before them but one that they completed with great…

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I am lucky to have been able to work at what I love around the world for almost 20 years: performing with wonderful singers and instrumentalists. I also teach master classes on this profession that might be considered “in the shadows,” since it’s not about playing a recital or being a soloist with an orchestra. However, my profession is most certainly that of a pianist. I don’t “accompany” or “collaborate.” I play the piano. Chamber music and sharing with other musicians, on stage or in studio, is a different art than that of being a soloist. Although it’s the same…

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The 30th edition of the Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon de Montmagny has been officially inaugurated. The well established event from the Chaudière Appalaches region of northern Quebec presents every year some of the best accordion players from different corners around the world. On opening night, Aug. 31, a full house was treated to a buffet of multi-ethnic sounds. Filippo Gambetta and Andrea Di Giacomo from Italy, Roman Jbanov and Alexei Brioukov from Russia, Emily Stam from Canada, Antonio Rivas, Daniel Ochoa and Jairo Gomez from Colombia, Gary Blair and Robin Hyland from Scotland, and Sylvie Pullès and Maxime Cayron from…

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Bach, Schumann, Debussy and Chopin: These are the familiar names on the program Marc-André Hamelin plays on Sept. 30 for the Ladies’ Morning Musical Club. While many associate him with names like Alkan and Sorabji, Hamelin is at ease both in the heart and at the outer limits of the repertoire. “These are all old friends and I am happy to present these works,” Hamelin said in a phone interview hours before he was to fly to the U.K. to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival. Hamelin says Bach is “probably the greatest composer that ever lived, the perfect combination…

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Universally popular in the first half of the 20th century, the music of Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari has vanished into thin air. A Venetian of German ancestry and education, Wolf-Ferrari rejected modernism and allowed himself to become – along with Mascagni, Repighi, Malipiero and most Italian composers – a cultural poster-boy for the Mussolini regime. This affiliation accelerated his reputational decline after 1945; he died three years later. But there is nothing ideological about his music. Nor is it in any sense reactionary. On the contrary, Wolf-Ferrari wrote romantic music because that is all he was equipped to do and he did…

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Joliette, August 7, 2018 – It was in the full heat of summer that the 41st season of Festival de Lanaudière concluded Sunday. To the delight of festival-goers, however, the performance by Orchestre Métropolitain (conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin with soloist Marc-André Hamelin) was more than refreshing! The concert featured Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Symphony No. 7, “Leningrad”. With his usual flamboyance, Nézet-Séguin masterfully led his orchestra to a grandiose finale. This year, the Festival’s Artistic Director Gregory Charles built the Festival program around the evocative theme “All is fair in love and war”, giving audiences at the…

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Santander, August 5th 2018.- This evening has been held the Closing Gala and Awards Ceremony of the 19th Paloma O’Shea Santander International Piano Competition. The event has been attended by the President of the Government of Cantabria, Miguel Ángel Revilla; the Mayoress of Santander, Gema Igual; and the President of the Albéniz Foundation and of the Santander Piano Competition, Paloma O’Shea. The Gala, presented by Eva Sandoval, has begun with the six finalists’ performance of Khachaturian’s “Sabre dance” (arrangement by Walden Hughes for 2 pianos and 12 hands). After Mrs. Paloma O’Shea’s brief speech, Miguel Ángel Revilla has handed in…

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