International Piano is a unique bi-monthly publication written for and loved by pianists and discerning fans of piano music all over the world.

Each bi-monthly issue includes interviews with top pianists and rising talent, performance tips, news, features, analysis and comment. You will find exclusive tutorials by concert artists, in-depth articles on piano recordings and repertoire, masterclasses on piano technique, and festival, concert and competition reports from around the globe.

Every edition includes a five-page Symposium, hosted by Jeremy Siepmann, which brings together leading experts and international pianists for a round-table debate.

Our comprehensive reviews section examines the latest recordings, books, DVDs, sheet music and concerts.

Plus, each issue includes free sheet music – often rare or newly released works – for readers to add to their collections.

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Photo by Oliver Hall

All eyes and ears were trained on Moscow during July for the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition – always a major event in the piano world as pundits and punters alike stake their hopes on the discovery of the next great star. This year attracted a particularly huge following  thanks to the free online streams that topped over six million views, setting a new record for the classical music industry.

The focus of everybody’s attention was the young French pianist Lucas Debargue, whose unorthodox technique and impassioned playing won widespread admiration from audiences and critics. The  Competition jury, while recognising Debargue’s unique qualities, placed him fourth in the fi nal rankings. Instead, the Gold Medal went to Dmitry Masleev, an altogether ‘safer’ choice: clearly very talented but missing the spark of genius which animates Debargue’s playing.

This dilemma illustrates the elusive nature of great piano-playing. What are the qualities that separate a brilliant display of technical mastery from a great interpretation that has the power to move audiences? Critics spend a lifetime trying to put this difference into words, though at a visceral level it’s something most of us recognise instantly when we hear it.

Inevitably, all serious musicians spend a lot of time perfecting their technique and developing a secure mastery of their chosen instrument, but what can they do to cultivate a rich inner life that nourishes their artistry and takes them beyond the notes? It’s a question that conservatoires and music colleges devote a lot of time and attention to addressing. Oberlin College in Ohio, for example, has recently launched a new graduate programme with the International Piano Academy Lake Como to encourage students to ‘engage in ideas bigger than themselves’. Meanwhile, researchers in genetics and pyschology continue to probe the age-old question whether talent is more a product of nature than nurture.

Elsewhere in this issue, we explore the extraordinary art of the toy piano, an instrument that was favoured by John Cage. Cage will also be one of the composers under the spolight at this year’s Occupy the Pianos festival in London. International Piano is delighted to be a media partner of this important and thought-provoking event. Don’t miss the opportunity to win a full festival pass for all peformances in what promises to be one of the highlights of the autumn season.

Owen Mortimer

IP is available as an interactive digital magazine

In The Next Issue of International Piano: November/December 2015

Cyprien Katsaris is a free spirit whose unquenchable appetite encompasses everything from Bach to the Pink Panther. We meet the man behind the music

Stephen Kovacevich at 75, on overcoming adversity and why he's angry with the BBC

New piano music written to inspire hope in our age of anxiety

Can an electric piano ever be a substitute for the real thing?

Chopin's complete piano music in recital

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