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The 2015 Nobel Prize Concert Featured Daniil Trifonov

One of today’s most celebrated conductors, Franz Welser-Möst led the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra at the Nobel Prize Concert on 8 December in a programme comprising Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and Richard Strauss Ein Heldenleben. This year’s soloist was the young sensational pianist Daniil Trifonov. Read the short Nobel interview here and watch the performance:


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Top Picks of 2015

We wish you a Happy New Year with a list of highly recommended reading from Piano Street’s Classical Piano Blog. These are the 10 most read, discussed or shared articles of 2015.

Hollywood Greats Explore the Piano

Grammy-winning pianist Gloria Cheng invited some of the most prominent film composers of today to write new music for solo piano. Alexandre Desplat and John Williams were a few of the composers who took the bait and have now contributed to the contemporary piano repertoire. Read more >>

Chopin is more popular than football – at least in Warsaw

More than 3 million people visit Warsaw each year. Of those, about 200,000 visit the museum dedicated to Poland’s national music hero: Frédéric Chopin. Be a Chopin Tourist – take the 3 minute tour in the new museum! Read more >>

How to Prepare for a Piano Competition – an Interview with Mariam Batsashvili

Soon after the 10th International Franz Liszt Competition Utrecht, Piano Street’s guest writer Alexander Buskermolen spoke to its most recent winner: the Georgian 21 year old pianist Mariam Batsashvili. The main theme for this interview with the first female winner of this particular competition in The Netherlands: how to prepare for a competition and what happens if you win? Mariam Batsashvili should know. Read more >>

Can We Play Like Mozart Did?

Classical piano pieces by such composers as Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin likely sounded much different when the masters first performed those works than they do today. Pianos themselves have changed considerably — but so, too, has technique. Read more >>

Behind the Scenes of the Piano Puzzler

So, what is a Piano Puzzler? On the air every week, Bruce Adolphe re-writes a familiar tune in the style of a classical composer. In this video we get behind the scenes and learn the core secrets behind the construction of a Puzzler. Read more >>

Pianist Daniil Trifonov in a fascinating profile by Christopher Nupen

A new double-DVD release contains two films by Christopher Nupen about the brilliant young pianist Daniil Trifonov: ‘The Magics of Music’ and ‘The Castelfranco Veneto Recital’. Watch a clip from the film which has won two international prizes, Silver Medal at the New York Film and Television Festival and the Accolade Award. Together they give an intimate portrait of the artist both on and off the stage. Read more >>

250 New Piano Pieces for Beethoven Premiering in Bonn

As a part of the world teaming up for the great Beethoven anniversary celebration in 2020, German and Bonn based pianist Susanne Kessel has invited composers from all over the world to write a piano piece for Ludwig van Beethoven. Read more >>

Warsaw: The Most Influential Piano Competition Enters Its Grand Finale

Every five years the whole pianistic world moves to Warsaw and the International Chopin Piano Competition. Watch the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition and discover the piano stars of tomorrow. Read more >>

Why is Debussy’s Clair de lune the most downloaded piece?

A challenge for both the intermediate pianist and the professional, Debussy’s Clair de lune seems to contain specific qualities which both instrumentalists and listeners find attractive. The piece, which is a part of the composer’s Suite Bergamasque, is the most downloaded piano score in Piano Street’s sheet music library. Why? Read more >>

Classical Music Everywhere – Interview with Simone Dinnerstein

Simone Dinnerstein is trying to boost awareness and appreciation of classical music in both children and adults in places as different as New York City and Havana. See her introduce Bach’s Inventions to a room full of schoolchildren and read about the new ablum celebrating the transatlantic link. Read more >>


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Christmas Music for Piano: Jeffrey Biegel Plays Sleigh Ride

Are you tired of choirs singing carols? If so, get into Christmas mode with some solo piano instead. Enjoy Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride performed by American pianist Jeffrey Biegel:

Hear more of these holiday classics on “A Steinway Christmas Album”.

Samples from amazon.com

The album on Spotify


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250 New Piano Pieces for Beethoven Premiering in Bonn

As a part of the world teaming up for the great Beethoven anniversary celebration in 2020, German and Bonn based pianist Susanne Kessel is continously inviting composers from all over the world to write a piano piece for Ludwig van Beethoven.

All pieces will be played by Kessel within public concerts in Bonn until the year 2020 along with radio transmissions by WDR – as a partner of the project. The association Bürger für Beethoven (Citizens for Beethoven) stands as sponsor of the publication part of the project.

The piano scores of all pieces will be published by EDITIONS MUSICA FERRUM and will be available within 10 books of 25 pieces each. The first volume was presented on a release festivital on November 21 in Bonn with the publisher and 11 composers participating in the form of a concert at the Kunstverein with the works of composers Stefan Cassomenos (Australia), Olav Anton Thommessen (Norway) and Lars Werdenberg (Switzerland).

“When I walked the same streets that transformed Beethoven arose in me the desire to initiate a great gift for him,” Susanne Kessel explains. “The response of the international composers addressed is invariably positive¨ Kessel continues, “The invited composers have without exception pledged full of joy.”

The publisher Nikolas Sideris says: “It is a unique and extremely inspirational project and will also mean an extensive workload. No piece is longer than 4 minutes and the composer lineup shows a wide range in terms of style, age and unique experience.”

Beethoven’s music is obviously very deeply rooted in most musicians and has lost none of its fascination, and do so regardless of the nationality or the musical division in which the composers work. There have already been a vast number of composers engaged in the project.

The first 15 piano pieces was presented at the opening concert for the project on November 29 at the Bonner Kunstverein. There Susanne Kessel played alongside piano works of Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert, first performances of piano pieces by Dietmar Bonnen (D), Arni Egilsson (IS/USA), David Graham (UK/D), Joan Huang (CHINA/USA), Bill Power (USA), Dennis Kuhn (D), Ursel Quint (D), Leander Ruprecht (D), Alex Shapiro (USA) Nikolas Sideris (GR), Demetrius Spaneas (USA), Stefan Thomas (D) , Frank Zabel (D), Helmut Zerlett (D).

“250 piano pieces for Beethoven”: Volume 1 (piano scores) is available for purchase here:

The project on Facebook:

Pianist Susanne Kessel:


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Take Your Seat: W. A. Mozart’s Advent Concerto – LIVE

Free tickets for Piano Street’s members

Thanks to a continous collaboration with the Berliner Philharmoniker Digital Concert Hall, all Piano Street members enjoy free access for 48 hours to the Digital Concert Hall. Log in to your Piano Street account to get your free voucher code which gives you instant access to the Digital Concert Hall. Take the opportunity to hear a live concert with pianist Till Fellner on Sunday December 6 and to access all concerts in the archive!
No Piano Street account? Sign up for free here to get your concert ticket!

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LIVE from Berlin on Sunday, December 6

Sun, 6 Dec 2015, 8 p.m. (Berlin time)
Till Fellner, Berliner Philharmoniker and Bernard Haitink in W. A. Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major, K. 503
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The Piano Concerto in C major K. 503 that Mozart composed for one of his four concerts in the Advent season in 1786, is the last of the twelve great piano concertos written in Vienna between 1784 and 1786 and was presented at his highly successful subscription concerts series. Though Mozart performed it on several occasions, it was not considered as brilliant as many others and it only gained acceptance in the standard repertoire in the later part of the twentieth century. Evidence suggests that Beethoven chose it in 1795 for one of his first Viennese appearances as soloist.

As with some of Mozart’s later piano concertos he experimented with form and orchestration. This last of Mozart’s four C major piano concertos is a work of immense structural integrity rather than cultivated thematic charm. The first movement is unusually long for that era (432 measures without cadenza) and is characterized by a complex, symphonic approach that extends far beyond the concert form customary at the time. The “Marseillaise”-like and arguably patriotic second theme is also most evident though the French anthem in fact wasn’t published until 1792. The third movement is a serious-minded sonata-rondo that opens with a gavotte theme from Mozart’s opera Idomeneo. Like the first movement, it touches upon the minor displaying sections with bold, almost Brahmsian harmonic progressions. However, sunlight pours illuminates the final refrain.

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Till Fellners Debut with Berliner Philharmoniker

Austrian pianist Till Fellner is regarded as modest, profound and completely at the service of the music and with unpretentious, earnest manner. Fellner has played his way into the league of the great pianists of our time. A student of Alfred Brendel, he performed piano trios by Haydn and Beethoven together with violinist Corey Cerovsek and cellist Adrian Brendel as a part a 2011 Berliner Philharmonic chamber concert. He already then established himself as a specialist for the music of the Viennese classical school. Fellner’s international career was launched in 1993 when he won First Prize at the renowned Clara Haskil Competition in Vevey, Switzerland. Over a period of more than two decades, he has become a sought-after guest with many of the world’s most important orchestras and at the major music centres of Europe, USA and Japan, as well as numerous festivals. He has collaborated with Claudio Abbado, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph von Dohnányi, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sir Charles Mackerras, Kurt Masur, Kent Nagano, Jonathan Nott, Kirill Petrenko, Claudius Traunfellner and Hans Zender, among many others.

Legendary Bernard Haitink Takes the Stand

Bernard Haitink is a guest conductor who has been working together with the orchestra since 1964 on a regular and frequent basis. He has repeatedly placed Anton Bruckner’s symphonies on his concert programmes. Like virtually no other practitioner of his craft, Haitink understands how to organize the vast masses of sound of these works, and to build up the tremendous cumulations of this music convincingly and stirringly. He last performed the Fourth here, known as the Romantic, in March 2014. The Austrian composer’s ninth and last symphony was played with the Philharmoniker only once under his direction, namely in 1989. This work, dedicated by Bruckner “to the beloved God”, remained unfinished. When he died, the composer left behind only three completed movements and extensive sketches for the Finale. This symphony is evocative of Beethoven’s Ninth not only because of the key of D minor; like it, the first movement of Bruckner’s work begins quasi from an archaic source, ultimately creating a musical world that opened the gates to the modern era.

About the Digital Concert Hall

In 2008, the Berlin Philharmonic, in partnership with Deutsche Bank and Sony, started posting its live performances on the Internet via the Digital Concert Hall, or DCH. Seven high-definition cameras capture all the musical action within the Philharmonie. Highlighting the intriguing interpretations of principal conductor Sir Simon Rattle, the fantastic audio quality of the multimedia files is at once accurate and thrilling. The operators inside the video studio make the recordings available a few days after each performance.

More than 1.5 million people have taken advantage of the streamed offerings over the last five years. With access to a combination of almost 400 recordings that include concerts, educational programming and interviews with conductors, soloists and orchestra members, site visitors can enjoy the entire gamut of Berlin Philharmonic musical experiences.

The site also provides extensive program notes for each piece; conductors and soloists often speak about both the program in question and about their careers. Many world-renowned pianists count themselves among the interviewed, and keyboardists the world over can virtually pick their brains regarding a wide range of material. The website catalogs everything, and web surfers can use a powerful search tool to find artists, pieces and specific performances they want. After discovering each hidden gem, users can bookmark their favorites. There is even a section dedicated to documentaries and other short films.

A vast number of piano concertos with top performers are available in the DCH archive. Artists include: Argerich, Zimerman, Kissin, Wang, Pires, Vogt, Barenboim, Volodos, Uchida, Perahia, Schiff, Aimard, Grimaud, Matsuev, Bronfman, Andsnes, Ax, Pollini, Hamelin, Berezovsky, Pressler, Buchbinder and Katia and Marielle Labèque.
Browse the piano concertos archive

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