Gramophone award winners announced
27 August 2015
The recordings which have won Gramophone Awards in each of the 12 main categories have been announced.
Maria João Pires won the concerto category for her recording of Beethoven's third and fourth piano concertos with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding (Onyx). The instrumental award went to Piotr Anderszewski for his recordings of Bach's English Suites Nos. 1, 3 & 5 (Warner Classics).
One of the 12 category winners will be named Gramophone recording of the year at an event at St John’s, Smith Square on 17 September. The event will also announce the winners of the Gramophone artist of the year, young artist of the year and label of the year awards, as well as the recipient of the lifetime achievement award.
Gramophone editor-in-chief James Jolly said: ‘The voting process for this year’s awards entailed a wonderfully enjoyable few months, with some magnificent artists caught in their absolute prime and an industry showing flair and imagination, unimpaired by the tough market conditions. We look forward to revealing the recording of the year at the ceremony next month.’
The original Gramophone reviews of all the shortlisted recordings have been reproduced in a special digimag (in association with Qobuz) available to download for free
for iPad or tablet.
Gramophone Awards 2015
Yamaha launches piano upgrade scheme
21 August 2015
Yamaha's 'Silence is Golden' scheme allows piano owners to trade up to a new Yamaha model, offering significant financial incentives on part-exchange valuations.
Piano owners could receive up to £1500 for their instrument when they trade it in for a new Yamaha Silent, TransAcoustic or Disklavier piano.
Yamaha's Leanne Barrell said: 'There's never been a better time to consider trading up to a new Yamaha piano – whilst getting a great price on your current piano. And for the first time, this year’s scheme includes our new range of TransAcoustic Pianos, offering customers the opportunity to own the latest technology in the piano world when trading up to a new Yamaha.'
The Silence is Golden Upgrade scheme runs from 1 September until 15 January 2016.
Rare Poul Henningsen piano up for auction
19 August 2015
A rare PH Andrea Christiansen grand piano will be up for auction at London's Conway Hall next month.
Only five of the instruments, which were created and designed in Denmark by architect Poul Henningsen in 1931, were thought to exist. Examples have been exhibited at the Danish Design Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of New York.
Richard Reason, valuer at Piano Auctions Ltd, received a phone call regarding a ‘space age’ Blüthner grand, exhibited at the Frankfurt Music Fair. The caller said he had an instrument very much like it, although not by Blüthner. He sent photos to Reason, who confirmed that it was one of the unusual PH Andrea Christiansen instruments.
The current owner was 'flabbergasted' when he was told that the auction estimate would be £20,000 - 40,000. Reason said that this estimate was rather low, given that the instrument was in need of restoration.Two have sold within the last 4 years at auction for €97,000 (£68,310) and £98,500.
The owner's father-in-law bought the piano from a Fulham pub when it closed in the early 1970s, moving it to a bar above a swimming pool in Coulsdon. The celluloid transparent top had turned a nicotine brown from its time in the pub, so it was replaced with purple Perspex. During the 1980s, the piano was moved again to the owner’s home, where it was boxed and stored in a cupboard. It was finally given to the current owner and his wife for a property they had purchased in Palma Nova, Majorca.
Piano Auctions Ltd will be offering the instrument for sale on 17 September at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL (telephone 01234 831742).
Piano Auctions Ltd
Leeds Piano appoints new artistic directors
18 August 2015
Paul Lewis and Adam GatehouseSimon Jay Price
Dame Fanny WatermanAndy Manning
Paul Lewis and Adam Gatehouse will be the next artistic directors of the Leeds International Piano Competition. They will take over from Dame Fanny Waterman when she steps down as chairman and artistic director after the 2015 event.
Lewis and Gatehouse will be responsible for the selection of competitors and jury members, and join the competition’s jury themselves. They will also develop the competition programme, including inviting selected international artists to give masterclasses and act as mentors, and will take a key role in supporting all areas of the competition’s work. Both are keen to develop an education programme involving competitors visiting local schools during the competition.
Dame Waterman said: ‘I am so thrilled that two people of the calibre of Adam Gatehouse and Paul Lewis are in place to pick up the reins when I step down after this year’s Competition. I am confident that they will guide ‘the Leeds’ with all the integrity and passion I could ever wish for and together will enable new generations of fine young pianists to fulfil their promise and bring their great musicianship to ever wider audiences.’
Lewis announced the news on Twitter, writing that he was ‘delighted’. Describing the competition as ‘one of the great landmarks of the music world‘, he said of his appointment: ‘To be entrusted with preserving and building on the remarkable legacy of this most distinguished of piano competitions is a great honour.’
Gatehouse, best known as a senior editor at Radio 3, expressed his delight at the prospect of working with Lewis, saying: ‘I hope that together we can maintain and build on the awesome international reputation and artistic integrity she has brought to this wonderful competition.’
The Leeds International Piano Competition was founded in 1961 by Dame Fanny Waterman, her late husband Dr Geoffrey de Keyser, and Marion Thorpe. Previous winners include Radu Lupu, Murray Perahia, and Sunwook Kim, while Sir András Schiff, Mitsuko Uchida and Lars Vogt have been finalists. The 2015 competition takes place 26 August – 13 September.
The Leeds International Piano Competition
Documentary follows Andsnes's Beethoven journey
18 August 2015
A new documentary by Phil Grabsky explores the five Beethoven piano concertos.
Concerto - A Beethoven Journey follows Leif Ove Andsnes over the course of his three-year project with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. It includes footage of the pianist talking about his relationships with the works and discussing them with others, as well as excerpts from his performances in Prague (the basis for Song Classical's CD releases).
Grabsky said: ‘I knew this exclusive journey with Leif Ove would allow me access to great performance, but I had no idea it would be this great. These became the best reviewed concerts of the past few years and I was on stage to record them. Even more importantly the music and Leif Ove's intelligent and accessible insight creates a staggeringly interesting new biography of arguably the greatest composer of all time.’
The film will be shown in UK cinemas on 7 September.
Seventh Art: Concerto
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