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.

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Latest News

Joseph Moog named Gramophone young artist of the year

18 September 2015

Catherine Bott presents Joseph Moog with his award
Catherine Bott presents Joseph Moog with his awardBenjamin Ealovega

Piotr Anderszewski receives the instrumental recording award
Piotr Anderszewski receives the instrumental recording awardBenjamin Ealovega

Pianist Joseph Moog received the young artist of the year Gramophone award.

He was presented with the award by broadcaster Catherine Bott at the ceremony, which took place at St John’s Smith Square on 17 September. 

During the course of the evening, Moog performed The Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes from Johann Strauss II's 'Die Fledermaus' by Leopold Godowsky.

James Ehnes presented Piotr Anderszewski with the instrumental award for his recording of Bach's English Suites Nos 1, 3 & 5 (Warner Classics). Maria João Pires won the concerto category for her recording of Beethoven's Piano Concertos Nos 3 & 4 with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding (Onyx), but was not present on the night.

The other awards went to:

Recording of the year [sponsored by Qobuz Sublime]
Bruckner: Symphony No 9
Lucerne Festival Orchestra / Claudio Abbado
[DG 4793441]

Lifetime achievement

Bernard Haitink

Artist of the year

Paavo Järvi

Label of the year

Channel Classics

New generation of pianists set to benefit from Maria João Pires signature edition Yamaha pianos

17 September 2015, London, UK

Maria João Pires adds her signature to one of the limited edition Yamaha CF4 pianos
Maria João Pires adds her signature to one of the limited edition Yamaha CF4 pianos(Photo: Martin J. Bieling)

Yamaha and Maria João Pires have unveiled a Pan-European initiative to provide scholarships for leading educational establishments across the continent.

The scheme centres on a limited number of 6’3” Yamaha CF4 handcrafted grand pianos that have all been personally selected and signed on the frame by the legendary Portuguese artist. As each of the pianos is sold it will trigger the scholarships for organisations in the European country of sale, aimed at inspiring and supporting the next generation of pianists. Each instrument will also be accompanied by a special certificate of authenticity.

Maria João Pires said: 'Selecting the pianos for this exciting scholarship programme was not an easy task. All the instruments I auditioned had exceptional sound qualities. I was particularly struck by the way the pianos were were able to produce a beautiful sound across the entire tonal and dynamic spectrum from pianissimo to fortissimo.'

Alongside a limited number of dealerships throughout Europe, the piano will be on display in the UK at Yamaha Music London’s historic Piano Hall in Wardour Street, Soho, from 1 October. The instrument is priced at £53,894. For further details call +44 (0)207 432 4400.

Yamaha Music London

Songs My Grandmother Taught Me: Q&A with Artur Pizarro

15 September 2015

Artur Pizarro
Artur Pizarro©Sven Arnstein

A young Artur sits proudly atop his grandmother’s Fiat 850 Sport, pictured outside the family home in Cascais with Campos Coelho and Berta da Nóbrega
A young Artur sits proudly atop his grandmother’s Fiat 850 Sport, pictured outside the family home in Cascais with Campos Coelho and Berta da Nóbrega

The Portuguese pianist Artur Pizarro grew up in a household filled with music and made his first public appearance in Lisbon at the tender age of three. He introduces a very personal project inspired by his grandmother and first teacher, Berta da Nóbrega 

What are your first memories of the piano?
I don’t have any memories of me ‘pre-piano’. My family lived in a beautiful apartment in Cascais, around half an hour from Lisbon, where music was very important because my maternal grandmother, Berta da Nóbrega, was part of a piano duo with her teacher Campos Coelho. As a baby, I would sit listening to her at the piano whenever she looked after me, so it was piano duo and four-hand repertoire that really got me hooked.

Your grandmother was also your first teacher. How did she begin channelling your youthful enthusiasm into structured learning?
My grandmother would give me little lessons at the end of her rehearsals, or would sit with me at the piano on rainy days when we couldn’t go out. At the time it didn’t feel very structured, which was ideal, because the aim was to whet my appetite and awaken my fascination without me realising that I was receiving a lesson. As far as I was concerned, the piano was just my latest toy – I loved playing with it, and enjoyed the fact that I could get a bit better each time. It was also an opportunity to spend time with my grandmother.

What else did your grandmother do to encourage and inspire you?
It was very exciting for a child to be taken seriously from a very young age. She was never condescending and never underestimated my ability to do things. Of everyone in my entire family – on either side – I think we were the closest in terms of our personalities. We were best buddies and adored getting into trouble together!

She used to drive a burnt orange Italian sports car and would pull up in her latest Dior glasses, say to me ‘you don’t have to be in school for a few hours’, then whisk me off somewhere to have fun. She was that kind of grandmother!

The story of how she became a pianist is also quite interesting. She graduated from the Lisbon Conservatory and married an army man, who went on to have an illustrious career. She lived the life of an army wife for a number of years until a mid-life crisis, when she decided that the piano should enter her life again. She went in search of a teacher and approached Campos Coelho, who took her on and later became her musical partner.

Which qualities best describe your grandmother? Has her influence shaped your own ‘life philosophy’? 
She was not afraid to speak her mind in any way, shape or form and taught me the joy of standing up for myself and following my dreams. Her attitude was: don’t be afraid to make changes or change people’s expectations of who you are, to reinvent yourself. She was a very forward-looking person, but always looking far into the future. 

The value of tasting every moment of your life is probably the most important thing I learnt from her, and that’s something I’ve really tried to honour.

On 29 September, you’ll be giving a Rhinegold LIVE recital inspired by your grandmother. Can you offer us a glimpse of any highlights to look forward to? 
The title of this project is ‘Songs My Grandmother Taught Me’ (Dvořák wrote a collection of songs with the same title, but I don’t think he’d mind me borrowing it since it’s for a good cause!). The subtitle is ‘My Grandmother’s Songbook’. It’s basically a programme of her party pieces that she would play for friends and family, but not on stage. The whole playlist would last around three hours so I’ve got to whittle this down to 40 minutes for Rhinegold LIVE – it’s a bit like asking a child ‘what will you leave behind in the sweet shop?’

The project is really a history of the first nine years of my life in music. It’s my story, so I’m hoping it will be very intimate and bring the audience very close to me – which is what any performer dreams about. It’s also very special for me to be bringing this to London, a city where I’ve lived for so many years of my life.

I can’t tell you exactly what I’ll be playing: you all have to show up! I want people hanging from the chandeliers at Conway Hall and for this to be a very happy event.

Artur Pizzaro’s Rhinegold LIVE recital ‘Songs My Grandmother Taught Me’ will take place at Conway Hall in London on Tuesday 29 September. The evening includes a drinks reception at 6.15pm followed by the performance at 7.00pm. Sign up for a free ticket at www.rhinegold.co.uk/live/tickets

Pizarro's forthcoming CDs include the third volume in his survey of the complete works of Rachmaninov, and a piano duet disc with Rinaldo Zhok dedicated to the memory of their teacher Aldo Ciccolini. Both discs will be released in the autumn by Odradek Records. www.odradek-records.com

Luca Buratto wins Honens Piano Competition

14 September 2015

Luca Buratto
Luca BurattoMonique de St Croix

Luca Buratto was announced as the laureate of the 2015 Honens Piano Competition on 11 September.

The 22-year-old Italian pianist received a cash prize of CA$100k (£64,770) and a three-year career development programme valued at $500k.

The programme includes: worldwide general management by Honens for three years; worldwide recitals; residencies at the Banff Centre in preparation for collaborative touring projects; development of repertory and live recordings; mentorship opportunities with artists including Emanuel Ax, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Jeremy Denk, Angela Hewitt, Stephen Hough and Lars Vogt; and a recording on the Hyperion label.

Buratto made his debut in 2003 at age ten in the Sala Verdi of the Conservatory of Milan. He received third prize in the 2012 International Robert Schumann Competition (Zwickau) and the 'Acerbi' prize at the Shura Cherkassky International Piano Competition (Milan). He was one of 30 finalists at the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

The jury announced its decision following the finalists’ performances with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier on 10 and 11 September. The judges included pianist Janina Fialkowska, Jeremy Geffen (director of artistic planning at Carnegie Hall), Charles Hamlen (artistic advisor of Orchestra of St Luke's and former head of IMG Artists), and Costa Pilavachi (Universal Music Group International's senior vice president of classical A&R).

Jury chair Charles Hamlen said: 'All of us on the jury, as well as the audiences at Jack Singer Concert Hall, have experienced two weeks of exhilarating, world-class pianism. Once again, the Honens Piano Competition has shown that it brings to Calgary some of the finest and most creative musicians from around the world. We offer our sincerest congratulations to all of the pianists, with a special nod to 2015 Honens Laureate, Luca Buratto.'

Finalists Henry Kramer (USA) and Artem Yasynskyy (Ukraine) each received a Raeburn prize of CA$10,000 (£6,477).

The Honens Piano Competition takes place every three years as part of the Honens Festival. Previous winners include Pavel Kolesnikov (2012) and Maxim Philippov (1996).

Honens Piano Competition

Anna Tcybuleva wins Leeds International Piano Competition

14 September 2015, Leeds, UK

Leeds International Piano Competition 2015 winner Anna Tcybuleva
Leeds International Piano Competition 2015 winner Anna Tcybuleva

Anna Tcybuleva has been awarded the first prize at this year's Leeds International Piano Competition. The 25-year-old Ukrainian pianist played Brahms' Piano Concerto No 2 in the Final, which took place at Leeds Town Hall on Saturday 12 September.

Tcybuleva receives a £20,000 cash prize, the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi gold medal and the Champs Hill Records award (allowing her to record her debut solo CD at the Music Room, Champs Hill).

Sir Mark Elder, who conducted the Hallé Orchestra in the finals, commented: 'Once again the LIPC has found a truly exciting winner from some very talented finalists. The Competition continues to achieve the highest standards and I am delighted to play a small part in it.'

Six pianists took part in the Finals:
- Second prize: Heejae Kim, 28 (South Korea)
- Third prize: Vitaly Pisarenko, 28 (Russia)
- Fourth prize: Drew Petersen, 21 (USA)
- Fifth prize: Tomoki Kitamura, 24 (Japan)
- Sixth prize: Yun Wei, 21 (China).

The Terence Judd – Hallé Orchestra Prize, in memory of a brilliant young pianist and past pupil of Dame Fanny Waterman, was awarded to Heejae Kim. He receives a cash prize of £5,500, at least three paid engagements with The Hallé and an invitation to perform in the Manchester Mid-day Concerts series at Bridgewater Hall.

This year's Competition was the last to be chaired by its founder Dame Fanny Waterman, who commented: 'This has been a truly marvellous Competition with some of the finest young pianists entering. To hear a talent as fine as Anna’s brings confidence that the Competition will continue to produce the greatest pianists in the world for many years to come.'
The Finals will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday 13 September at 4pm and 8pm. BBC Four television will show the Finals on three consecutive Fridays from 18 September at 7.30pm.

Leeds International Piano Competition

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