Artur Pizarro to perform London recital to help the homeless
31 May 2011, London
Acclaimed concert pianist Artur Pizarro is to perform an exclusive recital at Chappell of Bond Street, London, on 30 June featuring works by Chopin, Debussy and Ravel.
Only 45 tickets are available and the event is the second in Chappell’s 200th anniversary fundraising concert series in aid of Centrepoint, the leading charity for homeless young people.
The evening will be hosted by presenter Mark Goodier, who will provide audience members with the opportunity to meet and hear Artur Pizarro discuss his chosen repertoire.
Tickets for this one-off event are £50.
Doors and pre-concert drinks/canapés from 7pm. Recital at
To book tickets, please contact Ruth Eldridge: firstname.lastname@example.org or Steve Parslow: email@example.com
International Piano magazine goes digital
23 May 2011
International Piano magazine is now available via digital subscription and as an app for the iPad and iPhone.
Digital subscriptions cost £24.99 for six issues and are available through distributor PocketMags.
The International Piano app for iPhone and iPad can be downloaded for £1.99,
and comes with one free issue of the purchaser's choice: further single
issues or subscriptions may be purchased within the app.
All subscribers are entitled to an accompanying e-subscription of the magazine.
All change at the International Tchaikovsky Competition
28 April 2011, Moscow
Historically fraught with controversy and claims of cloudy voting systems, the International Tchaikovsky Competition is nonetheless one of the most prestigious events on the classical music calendar, its former winners including Van Cliburn, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Boris Berezovsky.
And now its muddy past looks set to change, at least according to Richard Rodzinski, the competition’s new general director and former director of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (pictured, middle).
‘It had fallen into disrepair,’ says Rodzinski. ‘There was this perception that it was dominated by conservatory professors and that the voting system wasn’t as transparent as it could have been.’ Rodzinski believes the competition was on its way to losing its international prestige.
So this year, there are new rules and a whole new set of conditions. Featuring 30 pianists, 27 violinists, 25 cellists and 40 singers (aged between 16 and 32), the competition takes place from 15 to 30 June in Moscow with a total prize fund of €300,000. Among the entrants are several world-renowned performers, all chosen by an independent jury (the piano jury includes Ashkenazy, Bronfman and Barry Douglas).
The main thing the jury is looking for this year, according to Rodzinski, is communicators: ‘People whose technique you take for granted but who are very good, well-rounded personalities. People who you would want to buy a ticket to see.’ He says the auditions have been promising so far: ‘From the screening auditions we can see that the standards are very high.’ There is still great difference in nationalities. For example, this year’s piano class is largely dominated by Russians; but there are only two Russian cellists. There are no British finalists across the whole competition.
There are also changes to the prizes on offer. ‘In the past they just gave you a medal, said “good luck” and hoped commercial management would pick you up,’ says Rodzinski. ‘Now we are focusing on offering the laureates
three years of guaranteed management [from Opus 3 and Intermusica] and hundreds of engagements [at performances conducted by chairman Valery Gergiev]. We are opening the door to a career now.’
Some of the competitors’ names might look a little familiar, many of them already enjoying a degree of international success. Russian Eduard Kunz is a competition veteran, having won the Grand Prix of the George Enescu Competition in Bucharest, the Paderewski International Piano Competition and the Richter Award from the Rostropovich Foundation. The South Korean Yeol Eum Son has already won silver at the Van Cliburn Competition and recorded for Universal, and Yunjie Chen scooped first prize in China’s National Piano Competition at the tender age of 12.
Others to watch in the piano class include the Russian former Liszt Competition winner Arseny Aristov and jazz pianist, singer and composer Andrew Tyson from New York, whose Chopin Competition entry prompted judges to say he was not so much playing Chopin as ‘recreating Chopin’. Praise indeed.
Report by Hazel Davis
Child molestation investigation against Mikhail Pletnev dropped
6 December 2010
An investigation into accusations of child molestation by the Russian pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev has been formally dropped without charge. A statement from the Russian National Orchestra (RNO) confirmed that the Thai authorities had terminated their investigation surrounding the founder and music director of the Russian National Orchestra on 28 September 2010 and no charges were made to the Thai Court. Pletnev’s bail was lifted in October, and returned to him in late November.
The RNO's statement said that Pletnev, 54, has always refuted the allegations made against him and has been fully cooperative during the Thai authorities' investigations. He was arrested on 5 July 2010 by Thai police investigating allegations that he had been involved in a child prostitution ring and had molested a minor. Contrary to newspaper reports at the time he was never charged. Furthermore his Thai one-year visa was never restricted and he was never put on a 'black list'. After his arrest he was released on bail, and returned regularly to the Thai beach resort of Pattaya as instructed by the Pattaya District Court.
The RNO is currently touring Europe and Pletnev is due to conduct the orchestra on 8 December in Moscow.
First woman in 45 years wins Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw
25 October 2010
Russian Yulianna Avdeeva, aged 25, is the surprise winner of the 16th International Fryderyck Chopin Competition in Warsaw, which concluded on 21 October.
Avdeeva beat the nine other finalists to become the first female winner to be awarded the first prize since Martha Argerich won in 1965. Her performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto no.1 in E minor on her chosen instrument, a Yamaha CFX concert grand piano, received the vote of the jury, which included Argerich, Nelson Freire, Fou Ts'ong, Bella Davidovich and and Kevin Kenner. She received 30,000 Euros and two dates with the New York Philharmonic.
The jury’s decision proved to be highly controversial. The competition’s website had revealed the Austrian Ingolf Wunder as the audience favourite, and music critics had also voiced their expectation that Wunder to walk away with the top prize. Instead, he shared the second prize with Russian-Lithuanian Lukas Geniušas, 20. Third prize went to 19-year-old Russian Daniil Trifonov; fourth prize to Bulgarian Evgeni Bozhanov, 26, and fifth prize to François Dumont, 25, of France. Sixth prize was not awarded.
Avdeeva studied in Moscow and is currently working as an assistant to a Russian professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Zurich. Special prizes were also given: the Mazurka Prize to Trifonov, the Sonata Prize to Avdeeva, the Concerto Prize and Polonaise-Fantaisie Prize to Wunder and the Polonaise Prize to Geniušas.