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International Piano – January/February issue

International Piano Magazine

A new issue of the magazine International Piano is out!

Bertrand Chamayou explores the mystery and spirituality of Liszt, Debussy and Ravel; German manufacturer Steingraeber & Söhne puts the piano back into fortepiano; Australian pianist Piers Lane on turning 60; and is it ethical to release discarded recordings?

Plus, scaling the heights at the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht; introducing Yamaha’s AvantGrand N3X hybrid piano; Martin Helmchen explores the links between music and literature; British pianist Dominic John introduces his intriguing new album of varied and unusual preludes; intensive study meets al fresco dining in the foothills of Italy; and sheet music of Pachelbel’s Canon by Hiromi Uehara.

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


International Piano – November/December Issue

International Piano Magazine nov-dec-2017

A new issue of the magazine International Piano is out!

Louis Lortie waxes lyrical about great pianists of the past while continuing to experiment with repertoire, old and new; Ivan Ilić rediscovers the music of Czech-French composer Antoine Reicha; the musical repercussions of Russia’s 1917 Revolution; and is there such a thing as a ‘Nordic style’ of piano playing?

Plus, the pros and cons of piano competitions; broken chords and why they deserve practice; revisiting Glenn Gould’s Goldberg Variations; 2018’s most prestigious piano competitions from across the world; the complex relationship between musical creativity and mental health; Víkingur Ólafsson’s stimulating Swedish Vinterfest; and free sheet music from Euan Moseley’s Piano Topography.

Piano Street Gold members have instant online access to the digital version of the magazine.


The Media Lounge Debut and a World Gathering in Cremona!

Cremona again marked its presence as the world capital of instrumental music exhibitions with the 2017 edition of the Cremona Musica which combined top level artists, manufacturers, academia and pedagogy. With 180 programmed events during three days (September 29 until October 1), Cremona Musica covers every aspect of the interacting and delicate zones where the market, competence and public get to meet. In creating such a specialized meeting point for professionals in Europe, Cremona Musica not only wishes to analyze the state of the of the market but also more importantly, actively shapes culture. Therefore the object of growth and development is essential and evident.

Piano exhibition in Cremona 2017

The piano part Рcalled Piano Experience Рhas an aim to pursue a commitment in promoting the acoustic piano and thus offered a rich program of top level pianists performing in concert programs organized by outstanding instrument brands such as B̦sendorfer, Steinway, Yamaha, Steingraeber and Fazioli. Along with these, other brands were also presented in the grand exhibit area with an opportunity for the public to play and try out the latest model innovations. The public could also enjoy Masterclasses, this year conducted by Accademia Santa Cecilia and renowned performers. A special treat were play-along sessions with famous artists open to the public. As usual, special attention was given the recipients of the Cremona Music Awards which 2017 were violinist Ivry Gitlis, writer/author Stuart Isacoff, composer Giovanni Sollima and the institution for higher musical studies; Accademia di Santa Cecilia.

Piano exhibition in Cremona 2017

The Media Lounge Debut

An initiative from the Artistic Director pianist Roberto Prosseda and Berlin based pianist Andreas Kern, the Media Lounge with 30 journalists from the major specialized newspapers, magazines, broadcast media and web-based media saw its light. For the first time in Europe, the group met to share ideas on musical critics and journalism elaborating on common issues, differences and possible collaborations in the classical music field.

Media Lounge in Cremona 2017

As one of the invited to this group, Piano Street’s Patrick Jovell was able to elaborate on ideas and experiences from the group meetings. Each participant brought up several salient points, such as communication tools, the business of music in media, trends in research and education, and musical philosophy. All present planted the seeds of curiosity among the others who attended the forum, so it is assured that there will be continual discussions and collaborations dedicated to the promotion of classical music not only in Europe but also globally.

Journalists and Valentina Lisitsa in Cremona

For Piano Street an interesting concern is the question how to safeguard quality and publicity rights in a field which consists of both fast and slow media. Another important topic is how to share materials in specific cultural environments where language barriers limit access to journalistic coverage. For instance, today English speaking media seldom cover news and events that take place in foreign countries such as Spain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Balkan, Russia or Asia unless producers actively promote their own activities in multiple languages. Not everything happens in English, despite a strong Anglo-centric nature of Western Culture.

We are all happy for the Media Lounge start-up and look forward to the next meeting and upcoming collaborations. We urge all visitors to enjoy all that Cremona and its beautiful surroundings have to offer. We are also happy to be a part of the creative process on all fronts.

Meet some of the Media Lounge members:

Erica Worth – Pianist Magazine, UK

“One often hears of doom and gloom in the industry. However, there are hundreds of CDs still being released every month – even more than before. So I am optimistic. Surprising changes? I have no clue! Maybe in the piano world there will be some new instrument that will double the speed you play for you! Anything is possible.”

Serhan Bali – Andante Magazine, Turkey

“Criticism has also found a secure place for itself in digital age. Professional critics, music journalists can share their opinions and every kind of stuff through their online channels because of lack of advertising. The main problem is that they can’t earn the same money as before in the printed media.”

Eric Schoones – Pianist Magazine, The Netherlands

“If a magazine can help to inspire and inform, so more people can experience things like this, I think it is a very worthwhile cause. Although we should always remember it is not really essential to ‘know’ many things about classical music in order to be able to appreciate its message and content.”

Andreas Kern – Piano City & Piano Battle, Germany
& www.imgartists.com/roster/piano-battle/

“In my early years at the University I was already combining arts: Music & Food, Music & Dance, Music & Fashion. In Cremona we were connecting music with other fields, like technology or cows. I would wait which other keyword Cremona throws to me and then we see what comes out. Stay curious!”

Patrick Jovell – Piano Street, Sweden

“Kids that are early exposed to classical music makes it easier to pursue a career, parents play and listen, provide good schooling and so on. Governments must decide what kind of society they want and thus fund it.
Kids will always identify with what they are exposed to (what there is) and classical music needs to be experienced and requires space in all forms of media.”


The World Piano Bible

What could you possibly do if you were bored with your life in former East Germany? Well, with the right motivation you could start collecting data about pianos and their makers.

Growing up in East Germany, Jens Witter first learned to love piano music because his father played for the Central German Broadcasting station. While working in a piano factory in Leipzig, East Germany, Witter started cataloging pianos, inadvertently beginning what would eventually become his doctoral dissertation. He started his research during a time when he had access to a large number of persons who still had memories and stories from the golden era of piano manufacturing. The data archive grew and comprised 10 000 index cards and eventually became a massive Bible of Pianos containing some 40 000 names.

piano bible

This authoritative guide is essential for all serious collectors and makers of keyboard instruments. It’s a useful reference for every professional, piano technician, student, music merchant, keyboard enthusiast, and has a rightful place in public and academic libraries. The book also contains action makers and piano part suppliers, international city indexes, patents, and specific information about where to locate certain instruments in museums, private collections, and organizations.

This collection showcases over 8,000 color images of rare keyboard instruments made by master builders of the golden ages, including full-color images of their portraits, factories as well as contemporary keyboard instruments, pianos, reed & pipe organs, harpsichords, players etc. Includes well-known manufacturers like Bechstein, Boesendorfer, Fazioli, Steinway & Sons along with other long forgotten manufacturers which cannot be found in any other single reference work.

Many keyboard instrument makers disappeared during the wars in Europe, and may have later relocated in the U.S.A. or Canada and can now be found in this world-wide research under their new names with updated facts and essential information. This unique reference offers an expanded size and vast layout containing substantial amounts of pertinent information including beautiful and informative illustrations.

Read more at: www.theworldpianobible.com


The Hidden Piano Treasure of Jean Sibelius

Strangely enough, it would be quite easy to attend piano recitals for years and never hear a note of Sibelius. Now Norwegian pianist Leif-Ove Andsnes makes an adventurous raid into Sibelius’ native Finland and want us to change that. It is not surprising that his playing is immaculately detailed and sympathetic.

The Finnish master wrote over 150 works for piano, but these works have long languished in the shadow of his orchestral music. His piano pieces were often seen as lacking in the rich, sonorous textures that the composer brought to his full orchestral works and were therefore largely disregarded. However, Sibelius was not alien to the piano and two dozen orchestral works were also written as piano versions. He also composed some 110 songs with piano accompaniment and around 50 chamber music works including the piano.

In the past, pianists such as Vladimir Ashkenazy and Glenn Gould have expressed admiration for Sibelius piano compositions and now Andsnes has scoured the composer’s entire piano output, carefully selecting the pieces he believes deserve recognition and with which he feels a strong personal connection, uncovering ‘intriguing works with the wonderful Sibelius qualities we know’. Another notable mega mission is Finnish pianist Folke Gräsbeck’s Sibelius Complete Piano Music on BIS label as a part of the “The Sibelius Edition” – 68 discs in 13 thematic boxes containing all the music Jean Sibelius ever wrote,

Andsnes’ new album on SonyClassical, was recorded at the Teldex Studio in Berlin at the beginning of this year.
“There has been such a feeling of discovery”, Andsnes says. “Everyone was astonished that there can be a major composer out there with such beautiful, accessible music that people don’t know. The fact that many will be hearing it for the first time, that’s a wonderful feeling”.

In the context of Sibelius’ variable output for the piano, Andsnes has chosen his programme judiciously. Almost all the items are short impromptus, bagatelles, and descriptive mood pieces, some elegantly recalling Chopin, all of them highly enjoyable.

NEW! Click the album cover to listen to the complete album:
Andsnes plays Sibelius Piano Music
(This is a new feature available for Gold members of pianostreet.com)
Buy the CD from SonyClassical

Since copyright restrictions apply, scores for Sibelius’ piano pieces are not freely available in most countries until 2028.
For reference scores, please visit this page at imslp.


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