The annual Cremona Musica’s 2023 edition did as always provide new grips on the concept being one of the most important music exhibitions in the world. As a member of Cremona Musica’s Media Lounge, Piano Street is steadily present and we are delighted to share some events from a pianistic point of view.
The Cremona Musica event fills three large exhibition area buildings at Cremona Fiere and also offers music performances from outdoor built stages. Special live concerts and appointments also took place in capturing and prestigious locations in the city center of Cremona. A program interspersed among touristic venues of the city thus offers an extraordinary experience in beautiful Italian late summer surroundings.
The rich and inspiring program consisted of 180 events during three days and included over 360 exhibitors from 35 countries and involved 1000 artists and personalities in concerts, masterclasses, presentations. The exhibition’s collaboration with TGMusic.it provided an extensive warm up prior to the exhibition through interviews with participating protagonists and the vast service team – dressed in black T-shirts – consisting of ambitious and alert students and established musicians, provided practical and informative guidance in every possible area during the event.
It is virtually impossible to take part of everything but the provided digital streaming coverage of concerts, presentations, roundtable panels and artist interviews makes it possible to experience much of the program afterwards.
This year’s program also included the finals and finalists’ concert of Piano Link International Amateurs Piano Competition at renowned Teatro Amilcare Ponchielli and other city venues included l’Auditorium G. Arvedi of Museo del Violino, Cortile Federico II, Galleria XXV Aprile. Their breathtaking beauty and ambience confirmed the uniqueness of the 2023 event.
Cremona Musica’s piano section “Piano Experience”, headed by pianist Roberto Prosseda, was originally created and developed in response to instrument makers, distributors, buyers and musicians, as a meeting point to exchange ideas and thus develop new business and forums for discussion and development. It is now the most important exhibition in Europe dedicated to pianos and keyboards.
This year piano brands presented themselves in the form of “Piano Festivals” aiming for presenting a selection of artists rather than letting the public try the house’s different instrument models. The festival programs contained established Italian and international artists as well as younger, who were given a chance to meet an international audience and press.
Some Pianistic Events
Fazioli featured a.o. New York based pianist Han Chen who impressively presented 18 of Ligeti’s Etudes and pianist Alberto Nosè playing works by Chopin, Scriabin and Weissenberg. Yamaha & Bösendorfer presented American/Ukrainian pianist Inna Faliks in an interesting, poetry based program with her continuous composers’ collaborations and a response to totaliarism and her new book “Weight in the Fingertips: A Musical Odyssey from Soviet Ukraine to the World Stage”. Steinway presented a.o. Polish Paderewski Competition winner Mateusz Krzyzowski in works by Chopin and Szymanowski. One of the Cremona Prize Winners 2023, the mythic piano technician Angelo Fabbrini was also given a Piano Festival for the occasion where we could hear a.o. legendary pianist and pedagogue Boris Petrushansky, Leonardo Pierdomenico and young Raffaele Battirolo.
A new grip on spotlighting lesser known composers were presented through pianist Ramona Munteano playing young prodigy and Chopin student/protegé Carl Filtsch who died at only 15 and pianist Alfonso Soldano’s program which set focus on the hardships and struggle of Ukrainian tsarist composer Sergej Bortkiewicz.
There was also a chance to experience interesting book presentations. Iconic pianist Andrei Gavrilov presented his book; “Andrei, Fira and Pitch: Scenes from a Musician’s Life revealing his relationship with Sviatoslav Richter and views on the political scene over decades. Eric Schoones’ release in German – “Die Wege der Meister” – of his book “Walking up the Mountain Track: the Zen way to enlightened musicianship”. One more Cremona Prize Winner 2023, Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger, also presented his groundbreaking book; “Chopin: Notes for a Piano Method”, as many know, a must read for any pianist interested in the deeds of Frederic Chopin. A rare occasion in presenting the Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco was the introduction of “The New Castelnuovo Tedesco Collection edition” by the composer’s New York based granddaughter Diana Castelnuovo Tedesco.
For those interested in historical performance and instruments, a rare chance was given to experience four 18th and 19th century replicas – Graf 1819 & 1836, Pleyel 1830 and a Walter 1796 – built by world renowned instrument builder Paul McNulty, who was there in person.
Piano Link International Amateurs Piano Competition 2023
Included in the program, Cremona Musica let the 2023 edition of PianoLink Intenational Amateurs Piano Competition take place on September 23 at the beautiful and famous Ponchielli Theatre in Cremona (even W. A. Mozart performed here).
Of the 33 competing pianists, 10 finalists were selected by an international jury, presided over by Boris Petrushansky, Inna Faliks, Nareh Araghamanyan, Maurizio Baglini, Patrick Jovell.
In the two non-graduate (category A) and graduate (category B) categories, 5 winners were awarded, of which one overall won a workshop with piano and orchestra and concert with symphony orchestra within the MiAmOr Music Festival 2024 in Milan.
These are the winners: Grand Prize Winner, Cat. B: Cristina DeCompadri (IT), 1st Place, Cat. A: Michael Slavin (USA), 2nd Place, Cat. B: Michele Perego (IT), 2nd Place, Cat. A: Sho Yamasaki (JP), 3rd Place, Cat. A: Din Zohar (IL). Both the MiAmOr Festival and the PianoLink International Amateurs Competition are organized by the PianoLink Association, headed by Andrea Vizzini, which is aiming for highlighting the talents and efforts of amateur pianists worldwide.
The Media Lounge of Cremona Musica
The International Media Lounge in which Piano Street is a member, hosts 31 Italian and foreign journalists, representing both specialized and general outlets. These journalists, writers, disseminators, covering Cremona Musica, guarantees an international media coverage for artists and exhibitors, and will also be protagonists of round-tables.
All roundtables were streamed on Cremona Musica’s FaceBook channel >>
Recommended and recorded interviews and roundtables:
The 2nd International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments in Warsaw. Aleksander Laskowski in interview.
Watch here >>
Roundtable discussions on the new prospects for international exchange in higher music education with eight representatives from prestigious universities around the world:
Watch here >>
Han Chen, a 31-year-old pianist from Taiwan and a 13-year-old New York resident will talk about his latest album about Ligeti and Migration’s music project.
Watch here >>
Inna Faliks, a Ukrainian pianist living in Los Angeles, tells us about her projects “Music/Words” and “Polonaise-Fantasie, Story of a Pianist”, her latest one woman show.
Watch here >>
Winner of the Tchaikovsky competition at just 18 years old, Andrei Gavrilov encountered numerous obstacles during his international career, developing a unique musical path. At Cremona Musica the pianist presented his autobiographical book “Andrei, Fira and Pitch: Scenes from a Musician’s Life” and his latest recording project “Music as a living consciousness”.
Watch here >>
Stay tuned for more articles and interviews from Cremona Musica 2023.