Emmanuel Despax to premiere new work by Stephen Goss
7 August 2011
London-based French pianist Emmanuel Despax returns to the
Wigmore Hall on 14 September to give the world premiere of Portraits and
Landscapes by acclaimed British composer and guitarist Stephen Goss. For this,
his fourth Wigmore recital, Despax will also perform works by Mozart, Liszt and
IP recently dubbed Despax 'One to Watch' and observed his 'compelling and colourful sound'. Despax will perform the French premiere of Portraits & Landscapes a week after his Wigmore Hall date, giving the opening recital at the Louvre International Concert Series on 22 September. This will be broadcast on France Musique and Medici TV.
Pianists for the next generation
1 August 2011
Pianists Christian Ihle Hadland and Igor Levit (pictured)
have been named as two of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists for the 2011
installment of the scheme. Now in its twelth year, the initiative has garnered a
reputation for nurturing the most exciting young artists on the national and
international music scene.
The New Generation Artists will be given opportunities over a two-year period to make studio recordings, concert and festival appearances and work with the BBC Orchestras. All of their work on the New Generation Artists scheme will be broadcast on Radio 3.
Hadland was featured in IP’s One To Watch spot in the Jan/Feb edition (issue 5). He and Levit join fellow star pianist Benjamin Grosvenor; who is now starting his second year as a New Generation Artist.
The other artists are mezzo sopranos Clara Mouriz and Jennifer Johnston, soprano Ruby Hughes and the Signum Quartet.
Exciting line-up for Yamaha’s Fourth International Piano Series
12 July 2011
Hyun-Jung Lim, Stephen Kovacevich, François-Frédéric Guy and Paul Lewis (pictured) will participate in Yamaha’s International Piano Recital series, which takes place at Malvern Theatres in Worcestershire.
The series, now in its fourth year, opens on 22 October – Liszt’s 200th birthday – with a recital by Hyun-Jung Lim who will perform works by the composer, as well as those by Ravel, Chopin and Rachmaninov.
Elsewhere, Stephen Kovacevich performs on 2 December and François-Frédéric Guy on 3 February 3 2012. The series concludes on 2 March with a performance by Paul Lewis.
All performers will be playing Yamaha’s new CFX concert grand piano.
Attention teachers! Trinity Guildhall launches new piano syllabus
6 July 2011
Trinity Guildhall has released a new piano syllabus for 2012-14, including freshly selected repertoire and newly composed exercises for the ‘technical work’ section of the exam. The updated syllabus is valid from January 2012.
The new syllabus for Piano and Piano Accompanying continues Trinity’s flexible approach to exams, offering further choice within the exam framework. The Initial Grade will also be accredited, providing extra recognition for beginner pianists.
A set of repertoire books and CDs is available, including the repertoire and new exercises for each Grade (Initial-Grade 8). The CDs feature the repertoire from the books performed by the well-known composers, teachers and performers John York, Pamela Lidiard and Peter Wild. The new repertoire publications are available in three formats – book only, book with CD and CD only.
The Estonian Piano Orchestra – broadcast review
25 June 2011
The Estonian Piano Orchestra, brainchild of
member Lauri Vainmaa, was created ten years ago by combining four piano-duet
teams, and promptly commissioned new works from local composers. Cunningly, perhaps, the best came
first. Jaan Raats’s ten-minute Concerto Op 126 – upbeat, motoric, foot-tapping
– recalled John Adams: piano teams anywhere, please repeat. Ulo Krigul’s bleak and unexpectedly
sparse 14-minute Aquaspherics introduced more adventurous techniques, some of
them (delicate, and scarcely audible) from inside the piano. One effect, a cascade of top-register
twitterings spiralling down the keyboards and falling off the bottom, recurred
in Urmas Sisask’s Voices of the Universe, Op 88 and formed one of that piece’s
best moments: elsewhere the material was – disappointingly, for such a cosmic
title – commonplace, and its 20 minutes failed to cohere.
The whole programme was completed by a non-piano interlude (Erkki-Sven Tuur’s orchestral Cystallisato), Sisask’s Ave Maria, and the best-known solo piano piece (Für Alina) of Estonia’s best-known composer, Arvo Pärt. Piano ensembles have a long history, studded with famous names like Czerny, Liszt, Rachmaninov, Grainger, Stravinsky and Orff. They deserve a separate article – meanwhile, the Estonian Piano Orchestra proudly displays a small country punching well above its weight. I look forward to its next commissions.