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German Piano Award 2019

Frankfurt Musikmesse kicked off its 2019 edition by presenting the 9th edition of The International German Piano Award’s Grand-Prix-Final Concerts initiated by The International Piano Forum (IPF), which was founded in 2008 by friends and supporters of classical piano music. It offers outstanding young national and international artistic personalities a platform accompanying them on their way to an international career. The prize money amounts to a total of €20,000.

Jeung Beum Sohn

This year’s winner in the finals at Alte Oper Frankfurt on March 31 was South Korean pianist Jeung Beum Sohn, presently a student at the Conservatory in Münster. Jeung Beum Sohn’s rendition of Brahms’ D minor Concerto defeated the other finalist Luka Okros’ in Rachmaninov’s C minor Concerto who received the Audience Award and €3,000. The competition attracted some one hundred applications and six nominated semifinalists were invited to come to Frankfurt. All nominees will be supported by The International Piano Forum in their following careers. IPF arrange concert series and performances internationally and establish contacts with both orchestras and their leaders. This platform is named IPF-MASTERS.

Despite countless other piano competitions, something like the International German Piano Award has never existed before says IPF Patron Dr. Peter Ramsauer. Patrons Maestro Valery Gergiev and Dr. Petra Roth points out the award to be a cultural highlight and a commitment and support for young pianists in their international careers. Also pianist Lars Vogt finds it especially important to pinpoint the young pianists’ ”deep understanding of one’s self and the boundless vastness, which is slumbering in all of us and composers have wonderfully expressed across all boundaries of time”.

Watch videos from past and current events on International Piano Forum’s YouTube channel.

9th International German Piano Award 2019 – Frankfurt, Germany – Impressions:


/patrick
 
     

Build a Paper Piano with Nintendo Labo!

Not enough space for a piano? A foldable paper piano may solve that particular problem, but don’t expect to ne able to play your favourite piano pieces on it.

Nintendo surprised many last year when it first revealed the initial set of cardboard-based constructible toy-sets that are a part of its Nintendo Labo product line. These ‘Toy-Cons’ have accumulated a split reputation, with some being quite fond of the concept – like elementary school children and their teachers – and others feeling as though it’s a waste of time.

One of the toys you can build with the “Variety Kit” is a playable cardboard piano – including keys and knobs – that can even be used to record tracks with a simple DAW. It’s part of a legacy of music-making on Nintendo devices that stretches back to the music editor on Mario Paint on the SNES in 1992 and continued with the Korg DS-10 for the DS in 2008.

It is encouraging to see that a toy replica of an acoustic piano is included in a mainstream toy set, but can it be used as some kind of serious musical instrument, or at least as a source of musical inspiration comparable to Apple’s iOS app GarageBand? FACTmagazine have been seeking answer:

What is even more impressing though is that Dutch paper folding virtuoso Jean-Paul Leconte using some glue, scissors, construction paper and a lot of skill has managed to squeeze all of the functionality into a pop-up book that it can seamlessly fold and unfold!

The piano uses the same Joy-Con controller as Nintendo’s version to control the companion Switch game. Watch the pop-up paper piano in action:

Related reading:

Build a LEGO Piano to Learn Basic Piano Mechanics!
Super Mario – The Czerny Studies of Our Time?
John Cage: Suite for Toy Piano


/nilsjohan
 
     

LIVE STREAM: Daniil Trifonov in Berlin

Daniil Trifonov, the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Artist in Residence this season, plays a sold-out solo recital in the Philharmonie on February 21. As one of today’s most in-demand classical virtuosos, known to always capture the true spirit of music no matter which repertoire he touches, he will perform some of the less often played cornerstones of the piano repertoire. The recital will be live streamed in Digital Concert Hall.

Free tickets for Piano Street’s members

Thanks to a continuous 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 Daniil Trifonov on Thursday 21 February 2019 and to access all concerts in the archive for 48 hours!

No Piano Street account? Sign up here to get your live stream ticket!

Members: Get your free 48 hours ticket! >>

“He has everything and more, there is tenderness and also the demonic element. I never heard anything like that,” — Martha Argerich

LIVESTREAM: Thursday 21 February 2019, 19.00 (UTC/GMT)
Program:
Beethoven: Andante favori in F major, WoO 57
Beethoven: Piano Sonata op. 31 No. 3
Schumann: Bunte Blätter, op. 99
Schumann: Presto Passionato *
Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No. 8, op. 84

(* First Version of the finale from the Piano Sonata Nr. 2, op. 22)

In 2011, he was awarded first prize at the Arthur Rubinstein Competition, and in the same year he won a gold medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition; Deutsche Grammophon immediately added the recording of his first appearance at Carnegie Hall in New York to its series of artistically outstanding recordings in 2013, and following his German debut three months later – which is said to have taken the breath away of none other than Alfred Brendel – a critic of the Süddeutsche Zeitung was convinced that he had experienced “one of the most successful and incredible piano talents of recent decades”. Daniil Trifonov, born in 1991, is undoubtedly one of the most astounding pianists of his generation – and perhaps already one of the best in the 21st century.

Following his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker, which he made in 2016 with Sergei Rachmaninov’s breakneck Third Piano Concerto, and other concerts as part of which he performed piano concertos by Schumann among others, Trifonov is the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Artist in Residence this season. In this role, he will appear as a soloist in concerts with the orchestra, as a lieder accompanist and chamber music partner, and as a mentor and musical dialogue partner of the Karajan Academy. However, Trifonov’s most personal pianistic calling card is this recital, which shows off all the facets of his technical and interpretive mastery: with works by Beethoven, Schumann and Prokofiev he takes a journey through those 150 years in which piano music enjoyed its heyday.


/nilsjohan
 
     

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


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.
Read more >>


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!
Read more >>


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
 
     

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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