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Piano Street's Classical Piano News

- your guide to the classical piano world.
Piano Street’s Top Picks of 2018

We wish you a Happy New Year with a list of highly recommended reading from Piano Street. These are the 12 most read, discussed or shared articles of 2018.

/The Piano Street Team

P.S. Please post your comments below about which article you find the most interesting and let us all know if you have any specific plans or goals for your piano playing for next year!


Yuja Wang Played Ravel to Commemorate Peace

The First World War showed no mercy to artists and many died or returned injured. The Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein lost his right arm on the battlefield and Maurice Ravel composed the “Piano Concerto for the Left Hand” for him. The piece was performed by Yuja Wang in a recent concert in Versailles, 100 years after the “Treaty of Versailles”, in which the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra commemorated the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War.
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Trifonov and Lang Lang Celebrate DG 120 Years in C Minor

“The Yellow Label”, Deutsche Grammophon celebrates its 120th anniversary this year with events all around the globe. Today, November 6, pianist Lang Lang performs Mozart’s C Minor Concerto in a live streamed gala concert in the Berlin Philharmonie.
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The Pleyel Piano: A Key to Genuine Chopin Sound?

Hubert Rutkowski’s new CD is a portrait not only of Chopin, but of the composer’s favourite instrument: Rutkowski plays a Pleyel piano from 1847. In his search for a genuine Chopin/Pleyel sound he has also turned to historical recordings of Raul Koczalski and Moritz Rosenthal, students of Karol Mikuli, who was in turn a student of Chopin himself.
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The Art of Listening – Updated Notes from Berman’s Bench

Since the first edition of Boris Berman’s Notes from the Pianist’s Bench was published in 2000, it has been read by countless pianists, piano teachers, and piano students throughout the world. The book has been translated into several languages and adopted as a required text in universities and conservatories. Just recently, it was published in a second edition, available in both print and electronic formats. Piano Street’s David Wärn met Mr. Berman at the Cremona Musica Piano Experience, to talk about the contents of the book, and about the changes and updates of the new edition.
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Hands-on Piano Experiences in Cremona

Piano Street’s David Wärn was present in Cremona and interviews will follow on pianostreet.com with, among others, Boris Berman — about the new multimedia edition of his Notes from the Pianist’s Bench — and Jura Margulis, about his collaboration with Steingraeber & Söhne, reinventing the sordino pedal and incorporating it into a modern grand piano.
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The Final Countdown: Leeds International Piano Competition – Finals Start Tonight

In the new edition of the Leeds International Piano Competition we have now enjoyed the diversity of the ten Semi-Finalists. Just in “the middle of the battle” Piano Street’s Patrick Jovell had the chance to ask the competition’s Co-Artistic Director, Adam Gatehouse a few questions.
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Zlata Chochieva: As an artist, you have to be unique

Zlata Chochieva is a unique pianist of the highest calibre. From Salzburg, where she lives and teaches at the Mozarteum, she enchants music-lovers all over the world with her exceptional artistry, combining natural musical expression with outstanding and self-evident technical ability.
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Comfort and Beauty – Rethinking the Piano Bench

Poised with a contemporary air and pure timeless beauty, the creations of piano bench designer and maker Mario Koch were conspicuously present at the Frankfurt Musikmesse 2018. Under the trademark MAKONI visitors were given a chance to indulge in a different world of the piano’s best friend and companion; the piano bench.
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NEW MAGAZINE: The World of Piano Competitions

As a collaborating partner, Piano Street is proud to present the first issue of ”The World of Piano Competitions”, a new magazine initiated by PIANIST Magazine (Netherlands and Germany) and its Editor-in-Chief Eric Schoones. Here we get a rich insight into the world of international piano competitions through the eyes of its producers and participants.
Contributing Editors: Gustav Alink (Alink-Argerich Foundation), Stuart Isacoff, Patrick Jovell (Piano Street), Mario-Felix Vogt, KaJeng Wong. Piano Street is happy to share this first issue with our readers free of charge!
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Paderewski Festival Celebrating Poland’s Past And Present

The annual international music festival celebrating the legacy of Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941) opened in Warsaw in late October and is now running for almost a month. This year the event also marks the centennial of national independence, which Poland regained after World War I. Piano Street’s Patrick Jovell visited the festival in Warsaw and the Paderewski Birthday Celebration Concert.
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A Debussy 100 Tribute

The great French composer Achille-Claude Debussy died 100 years ago, on March 25 in Paris. Debussy is considered one of the fathers of modern music and the most influential of all French composers. From Debussy’s Suite bergamasque, Clair de lune has emerged as the most beloved and appreciated piece of the suite appreciated by pianists on all levels. From the beautiful interiors of Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia, Rome we hear Italian pianist Alessandra Ammara play the piece.
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Destination: Rachmaninov – Departure

Destination: Rachmaninov – Departure, the first installment of a two-part journey, explores Rachmaninov‘s Second and Fourth Piano Concertos. In his seventh title as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, Daniil Trifonov reunites with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the leadership of music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Read more >>


/nilsjohan

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A Jazz Piano Christmas 2018

The celebration of the holidays is not complete around NPR without the sounds of a jazz piano sprinkling joy and good cheer. This year’s intergenerational program of accomplished pianists reflects both the history of the music and its future.


Musician Booker T. Jones is an honest to goodness legend. His contributions to our collective musical culture here in the U.S. is evident in his work on the organ and in his band Booker T. and the MG’s. What isn’t so obvious is his behind the scenes contribution to countless classic hits from Stax Records recordings as a multi- instrumentalist. This year we feature him on a rare turn at the acoustic piano, and it’s not to be missed.

Jason Moran continues to move the music forward as the Kennedy Center’s Artististic Director for Jazz, and his turn at the piano gave us both Monk and Mariah (Carey, that is).

Dánae Olano and James Francies both represent the future of the music. All came with an armload of holiday songs that will no doubt inject a little swing in your holiday gatherings.


/nilsjohan

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NEW PIANO MAGAZINE: The World of Piano Competitions

As a collaborating partner Piano Street is proud to present the very first issue of The World of Piano Competitions, a new magazine initiated by PIANIST Magazine (Netherlands and Germany) and its Editor-in-Chief Eric Schoones. Here we get a rich insight into the world of international piano competitions through the eyes of its producers and participants.

Click cover to download:

Contributing Editors: Gustav Alink (Alink-Argerich Foundation), Stuart Isacoff, Patrick Jovell (Piano Street), Mario-Felix Vogt, KaJeng Wong

Free download!

Piano Street is happy to share this first issue with our readers free of charge: The-World-of-Piano-Competitions-issue-1-2019.pdf

Background

The piano enjoys a tremendous popularity worldwide and has the universal quality to be able to communicate through cultures, history and geographical borders. The value of piano competitions cannot be overestimated in terms of focus on the piano as an instrument and piano playing. The competition industry engages a multiplicity of concerns including hi-end piano manufacturing, media coverage and broadcast, repertoire spotlight and pedagogy, concert and lecture production and not least, career opportunity and exposure for laureates and non-laureates. All this contributes to a richer cultural life and can powerfully promote the aim we all share: to spread the joy and riches of the art of piano playing.

”Piano music, especially live, is incomparable and can be a great source of joy for players and listeners. We all should strive to allow as many people benefit from it as possible. For that, this edition of The World of Piano Competition is an excellent form of encouragement. I hope its message spreads widely! I wish everyone much joy reading it and, later on, attending a concert!”
— Guido Zimmermann, President Steinway & Sons Europe

Content

Gustav Alink reports
8 Edvard Grieg in Bergen
24 Concours de Genève
30 Chopin on Period Instruments, Warsaw
32 Bechstein Jazz, Berlin (report by Mario-Felix Vogt)
34 For Young Pianists, Ettlingen

Interviews
10 An organisor’s view: Franz-Xaver Ohnesorg
11 A teacher’s view: Barbara Szczepanska
15 A director’s view: Rob Hilberink
19 A jurors view: Leslie Howard
27 One to watch: Yaroslav Bykh

In Profile
7 Queen Elisabeth Competition, Brussels
32 International German Piano Award, Frankfurt
33 Merci Maestro, Brussels
37 Piano Val de Travers
37 Euregio Piano Award, Geilenkirchen
39 International Telekom Beethoven Competition, Bonn
42 Mozarteum University Salzburg
42 Piano Lovers over 40, Milan

6 Partners
12 A Historic moment: Van Cliburn
16 Competitions online
20 After the competition: Anna Vinnitskaya & Seong-JinCho
23 Column: KaJeng Wong
29 Steinway Prize Winner Concerts Network
40 Innovation: Maene Straight Strung Pianos


THE WORLD OF PIANO COMPETITIONS
is published twice a year by PIANIST, as a part of the regular edition, and also worldwide as a separate magazine.

PIANIST (regular edition) is published four times a year in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxemburg, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands and Belgium.
www.pianist-magazin.de
www.pianistmagazine.nl


/nilsjohan

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International Piano – Jan/Feb 2019

A new issue of the magazine International Piano is out!

Andalusian pianist Javier Perianes strikes the perfect balance between sweetness and objectivity as he prepares to tour Beethoven’s concertos; Alfred Cortot’s shocking wartime record as a ruthless cultural arbiter for the Nazi regime; Burkard Schliessmann explores Schumann’s dual nature; and the unique legacy of eccentric Soviet pedagogue Heinrich Neuhaus.

Plus, Israeli pianist and painter Roman Rabinovich introduces his new album of Haydn sonatas; Poland’s new competition for Chopin on historic instruments; achieving tonal variety through judicious pedalling; Italy’s leading international exhibition for musical instruments; Leeds winner Eric Lu; practical courses for pianophiles; spiritual seeker and jazz pioneer Alice Coltrane; Jerome Rose recalls his influences as a ‘grand-pupil’ of Artur Schnabel and protégé of Rudolf Serkin; guitar masterpieces for the piano; and sheet music to Amy Beach’s ‘Cradle Song of the Lonely Mother’.


Piano Street Gold members have instant online access to the digital version of the magazine.
For print subscription, visit rhinegold.co.uk


/nilsjohan

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Ear-opening Explorations: Sabine Liebner plays Stockhausen’s Solo Piano Music

Sabine Liebner’s unfaltering decision to only play music to which she feels an inner affinity has led to her being primarily active as an interpreter of new music. She has premiered many works by contemporary composers and made important contributions performing and recording the music of 20th century composers like John Cage, Morton Feldman and Galina Ustvolskaya. For Liebner, music making is the solitary exploration of unknown terrain. She tries to listen to a score with no preconceptions, to discover its innate musical language. The results are often intriguing, and can sometimes even prove addictive, as in her recording of Stockhausen’s Klavierstücke I-XI.

Liebner is a very sensitive sound explorer, and uses her sophisticated and hugely varied tonal range to create truly magical soundscapes. The close recording catches these nuances beautifully, rendering the piano’s resonances with impressive detail. The first eleven Klavierstücke by Karl-Heinz Stockhausen (1928—2007) are considered to be some of most important solo piano pieces by the radical post-war European composers. They belong firmly in the somewhat hard-edged and abstract avantgarde sound world of the 1950’s, which may discourage some people from listening at all. Nevertheless, there is a possibility that this album will convert quite a few, if they only give it a chance.

The beginning of Klavierstück I (sample score from Universal Edition):

A New Way of Listening

One of the most interesting decisions Liebner has made concerns Klavierstück XI: in order to show the different possibilities of this work, she has recorded it twice. The score consists of a single large page with 19 groups or fragments, the order of which is decided during the performance. The pianist starts wherever the eye happens to fall, and ends whenever one of the groups has been played a third time. At the end of each group Stockhausen has noted the tempo, the type of touch, and the dynamics to be used in the group next chosen by the performer. In other words, while this work is very exactly notated every performance is a different, unrepeatable experience — a quality it shares with Cage’s legendary “silent” piece, 4’33’’, and Boulez’s unfinished Third Piano Sonata.

Perhaps there is no better way of experiencing the mysterious processes of this music than listening with a couple of good over-ear headphones in a dark room with absolutely no outer disturbances. After all, Stockhausen intention was not to provoke, but rather to train our mental abilities toward a new way of listening — in his own words, “to perceive vibrations and vibrational relationships, organisms, and processes in order to become more alert, intelligent, thoughtful, polyphonic, aware, and sensitive”.

NEW! Click the album cover to listen to the complete album.
This feature is only available for Gold members of pianostreet.com
Stockhausen: Solo Piano Music| Play album >> | Download CD cover >> |

/david

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