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Piano Day 2021

Piano Day is an annual worldwide event originally founded in 2015 by Nils Frahm and a group of likeminded people and takes place on the 88th day of the year – in 2021 it’s the 29th March, explained by the number of keys on the instrument being celebrated.

“Why does the world need a Piano Day? For many reasons. But mostly, because it doesn’t hurt to celebrate the piano and everything around it: performers, composers, piano builders, tuners, movers and most important, the listener.”
– Nils Frahm

Official website: pianoday.org

Exclusive broadcasts from ARTE

The artist lineup at the Théâtre de l’Épée de Bois in Paris displays a a rich and varied palette of piano music. The different spaces of the theatre will welcome live performances by Alexandre Kantorow, Sofiane Pamart, Macha Gharibian, Etienne Jaumet & Fabrizio Rat, and last but not least Françoiz Breut & Marc Melià.

DG Global Livestream

[The livestream has ended.]

Deutsche Grammophon again marks #WorldPianoDay March 28, 3pm CET, with an international virtual festival featuring performances by members of its family of artists, live-streamed on their YouTube channel. The programme includes keyboard classics on the one hand and a selection of contemporary works performed by their composers on the other. The artists, featuring DG, further UMG and guest pianists, include (in order of appearance): Maria João Pires, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Alice Sara Ott, Jan Lisiecki, Lang Lang, Rudolf Buchbinder, Kit Armstrong, Kirill Gerstein, Daniil Trifonov, Seong-Jin Cho, Katia & Marielle Labèque, Joep Beving, Chad Lawson, Balmorhea, Rui Massena and Yiruma.

As in the past, the piano remains the chief instrument for musical invention today. The virtual festival therefore also includes a selection of contemporary works performed by their composers, all of whom are part of the Universal Music family of artists. In particular Joep Beving will perform a special track which he has created for World Piano Day and which will be releasd worldwide across all digital retail partners. The piece is called Losar, which is the name of the Tibetan New Year festivities. The composer and pianist was inspired by the way the Tibetans celebrate the coming of a new cycle.


New Piano Piece by Mozart Discovered: Allegro in D K626

Today is W.A. Mozart’s 265th birthday and Salzburg and Austria celebrate this with the world premiere of one of his compositions.
At Piano Street we celebrate by releasing the score of the composition, the recently discovered piano piece “Allegro in D K626b/16“.
Download it for free below and celebrate Mozart yourself by playing the piece today!

A hidden treasure

So, how could this manuscript have hidden from public attention? Evidently, after passing from the estate of Mozart’s youngest son into the collection owned by Austrian civil servant and amateur musician Aloys Fuchs, it was mistakenly given away and vanished off the musical map. Owned by an antiquarian book and art dealer in Vienna in the 1880s, the manuscript was brought to auction in 1899. By this time The Köchel catalogue – listing the composer’s works – started mentioning it even though the manuscript itself kept going in and out of auction houses.

In 2018, the ‘unknown’ Allegro was offered for sale to the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation on behalf of the family of its owner, a French-Dutch engineer who had bought the manuscript from a dealer in Paris in the late 1920s. The Foundation’s staff and experts from the USA and Germany confirmed that the unattributed piano piece was undeniably by Mozart.

The Allegro in D major, K. 626b/16 fills the front and back of a single sheet of music paper in oblong format. The handwriting is hasty, but error-free. The undated composition stems in all likelihood from the first months 1773, according to the Mozarteum Foundation; it thus originated either during Mozart’s third journey to Italy or immediately after his return to Salzburg. Peculiarities of style suggest that this three-part dance movement is not an original piano piece, but a keyboard arrangement in Mozart’s own hand of an unknown orchestral work.

Free download!

Download the PDF-score and play the piece today to celebrate Mozart’s 265th birthday!

The World Premiere in Salzburg

A facsimile edition of the Allegro in D, complete with extensive introduction and bibliography, has been published by Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg and pianist Seong-Jin Cho will perform the piece in the official world premiere in Saltzburg on 27 January.

Pianist Seong-Jin Cho is the unique performer in the Great Hall of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation which is also the opening day of the Foundation’s first virtual Mozartwoche festival. Cho plays a stimulating selection of works by the Great Master, including the Piano Sonata No. 12, the Allegro in C Major and 94 seconds of an Allegro in D-major, performed for the very first time.

“The Allegro in D major K. 626b/16 is a highly attractive and charming piano piece, that adds yet another facet to the affectionate relationship of Mozart to his sister. How wonderful, that we are now able to participate in this relationship after such a long period of time.”
— Dr. Ulrich Leisinger, director of research of the Mozarteum Foundation,

“The rediscovery of this new work by Mozart is a real gift, not just for the Foundation but for friends of the Mozartwoche all over the world! We are very pleased to be able to fulfil the mission of the Foundation in such wonderful style, together with Seong-Jin Cho and Deutsche Grammophon, our aim being to enable people of all ages to find out more about Mozart’s music, life and personality.”
— Dr Johannes Honsig-Erlenburg, President of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation

“It is a great honour to be invited to give the premiere of a formerly unknown work by Mozart, in the city where he was born and where it may have been written,”
— Seong-Jin Cho, pianist


Read more at the press page:

Watch a recording of the official world premiere that will by published here 27 January at 18.00 GMT:
DG YouTube channel


The End of an Era: Keith Jarrett’s Return to his Roots

Keith Jarrett, one of the greatest musicians and profilistic pianists of our time, has recently announced that he will no longer be able to hold up his career as a performer. Now 75, he suffered a pair of draining strokes two years ago that left his left side paralyzed and resulting in an unability to play the piano. The recently released “Budapest Concert” – a return to his grandparents’ native country Hungary – is likely one of Jarrett’s final recorded public solo piano recitals.

Jarrett said to New Your Times in October: “I was paralyzed. My left side is still partially paralyzed. I’m able to try to walk with a cane, but it took a long time for that… took a year or more. And I’m not getting around this house at all, really.” He goes on to reveal that despite efforts to play with just his right hand, “I don’t know what my future is supposed to be. I don’t feel right now like I’m a pianist. That’s all I can say about that.”

Improvised Solo Recitals

As a performer, belonging to the global top segment of jazz pianists, Jarrett covered a multitude of genres throughout the years. He stands out as the inventor of the improvised solo recital with a series of unmatched recordings in this genre displaying wanderings in territories such as traditions of jazz and other genres like Western classical music, gospel, blues and ethnic folk music. In 1973 the ECM label organized an 18-concert European tour, consisting solely of Jarrett’s solo improvisations. The result was the landmark recording, “The Köln Concert” (1975), a double album with worldwide sales estimated at 3.5 million copies. Even if ”The Köln Concert” from 1975 has become a reference known by everybody it was actually precursed by the solo albums “Facing You” (1971), “Bremen/Lausanne” (1973).

Since his “Köln Concert” in 1975, which is the most sold jazz record ever, the solo recital wizardry continued with albums such as “Sun Bear Concerts” (1978), “ Dark Intervals” (1988), “Paris Concert” (1990), “Vienna Concert” (1992), “La Scala” (1997), “Tokyo ’96” (1998), “The Carnegie Hall Concert” (2006), “Paris/London – Testament” (2009), “ Rio” (2011), “Creation” (2015) and “A Multitude of Angels” (2016).

The European Tour 2016

His most recent tour took place in Europe in 2016 and included a concert in the Bela Bartok National Concert Hall, Budapest. He described the “Budapest Concert” (released in October 2020) as the “gold standard” by which all of his solo concerts to date would have to be measured. Together with the “Munich 2016” album, recorded at Munich’s Philharmonieon on the last night of the same tour, it will likely symbolize a final tribute to his outstanding capacity as a solo pianist in a genre which he created and which has become the trademark of his career.

The embrace of folkloric music by Bartok and other Hungarian composers further nudged Mr. Jarrett toward a dark quality — “a kind of existential sadness, let’s say, a deepness” — powerfully present in the concert’s first half. The second half, as admirers of “The Köln Concert” will appreciate, features a few of Mr. Jarrett’s most ravishing on-the-spot compositions. Those ballads, like “Part V” and “Part VII,” spark against briskly atonal or boppish pieces, gradually building the case for a mature expression that might not have been possible earlier in his career.
— NY Times

He is “like a centaur – half man, half piano,” the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung recently wrote about Jarrett’s solo concerts, adding that he “melted into the instrument and bent the keys to make them wail like an old blues guitar.” According to his biographer Wolfgang Sandner, he is the “greatest piano improviser of our time.”

Jarrett as a classical pianist

As one of the most unique profiles in over half a century of jazz, Keith Jarrett’s output has been profound as well as versatile. As a classical pianist with explorations of the baroque organ, clavichord, harpsichord, string quartet, Jarrett has recorded some seventeen albums ranging a broad palette of music history: Bach, Händel, Mozart, Shostakovich, Harrison, Pärt and Barber offer wide and interesting interpretational journeys widely appreciated and very often discussed.

Listen to Jarrett’s classical discography available on Piano Street / Naxos (for Gold Members):

Click the album cover to listen to the complete album.
This feature is available for Gold members of pianostreet.com

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Read more about Keith Jarrett:

NY Times: Keith Jarrett Confronts a Future Without the Piano

The Köln Concert

Interview with Keith Jarrett

Listen to the complete Budapest Concert on YouTube.


A Jazz Piano Christmas 2020 – In Spite of Everything

This year we are presented an unexpected and longed for Christmas celebration. Now a part of the yearly seasonal signs is NPR’s ”A Jazz Piano Christmas”. With strict distancing protocols at the Kennedy Center’s majestic Opera House, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, its staff with support from Washington, D.C. city government and NPR Music went ahead to carry out this years edition.

Set list:

“Sleigh Ride”
“Holiday Feeling” (REDWOOD)

Cory Henry
“Christmas With You” (Cory Henry)
“Misty Christmas” (Cory Henry)
“Someday At Christmas” (Stevie Wonder)

Kenny Barron
“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
“Silent Night”
“Little Town of Bethlehem”

Masked 50 people sat 30 feet from the performance stage in order to form a gathering sharing the healing powers of music. The pianists this year included the up and coming talent REDWOOD (Sequoia Snyder), who has her finger on the pulse of her generation’s sound, the piano and voice of Cory Henry which reveal his roots and passion for music of his childhood time spent in church and the elegant presence of Kenny Barron, considered one of the most influential mainstream jazz pianists since the bebop era.

There was an undercurrent of reverence to this year’s performances. Seems the weight of the world wide pandemic – as well as the emotional movements for social justice – fueled many heartfelt moments of quiet contemplation, not to mention the soul-stirring vocals that seemed to cry out for a collective, heartwarming hug to fend off the real world challenges we all face.


A Livestreamed Chopin Celebration in Warsaw

While the 18th Chopin Competition in Warsaw is postponed until 2021, the Chopin Institute will not leave the piano world lot-less. Beginning October 1st the Institute will celebrate Chopin’s music and pianism through a series of piano masters’ recitals and chamber concerts by a wonderful lineup of some of the most outstanding pianists of the previous editions of the competition.

The Grand Competition Momentum

The cycle of ten piano recitals will be live streamed from the National Philharmonic Concert Hall in Warsaw starting October 1 – which is the originally planned inauguration date of the Chopin Competition. This specific date is also the day of the International Music Day, a celebration founded by legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin back in 1975 when he was serving as President of the International Music Council.

Watch the live streams at Chopin Institute’s YouTube Channel

Streaming schedule:

Nelson Goerner (Critic’s award 1995) – 4 Oct 2020, 17:30 p.m.
Lukas Geniušas (Second Prize 2010) – 5 Oct 2020, 17:30 p.m.
Marc Laforêt (Second Prize 1985) – 6 Oct 2020, 17:30 p.m.
Yulianna Avdeeva (Winner 2010) – 7 Oct 2020, 17:30 p.m.
Philippe Giusianno (Top prize winner 1995) – 8 Oct 2020, 17:30 p.m.
Gabriela Montero (Third Prize 1995) – 12 Oct 2020, 17:30 p.m.
Olli Mustonen – 16 Oct 2020, 17:30 p.m.
Kate Liu (Third Prize 2015) – 18 Oct 2020, 17:30 p.m.
Kevin Kenner (Top prize winner 1990), Apollon Musagète Quartett – 19 Oct 2020, 17:30 p.m.

A detailed program is available here:

So, October 4 until October 19 we will hear Argentinian Nelson Goerner, who earned Critics’ Award 1995 and since then also functions as a frequent competition juror, Lukas Geniušas from Russia/Lithuania who earned Second Prize 2010 and later also was awarded a shared Second Prize in the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow 2015, French Marc Laforêt, Second Prize 1985, was coached by Arthur Rubinstein a.o. and started his recording career with EMI back in the vinyl days, Russian Yulianna Avdeeva was the fourth woman to have won the competition in 2010 and displays a broad interest in the whole piano repertoire. French Philippe Giusiano earned Top Prize in 1995 when the jury resolved not to award the First Prize and has mainly engaged in works by Chopin and Rachmaninoff. The Third Prize that same year was earned by Venezuelan Gabriela Montero, who has emerged as a performer with outstanding and unique skills in improvisation. Finnish pianist Olli Mustonen is not a competition prize winner but known to international audiences through his highly individual and engaging performances and American Kate Liu, a Curtis Institute graduate who also earned the special prize for the best performance of Mazurkas. The cycle of concerts will finally be rounded up by the two Chopin Piano Concertos in chamber version – not known by everybody – interpreted by the American Kevin Kenner, Top Prize winner 1990 and Apollon Musagète Quartet and Slawomir Rozlach on double bass. This will be followed by a gala presentation of the ensemble’s new recording of these concertos. Kenner earlier took instruction from Leon Fleisher a.o. and functions as professor at Royal College of Music in London.

More on past competitions and prize winners of the Chopin Competition in Warsaw.


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