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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Latest News

Leeds finalists announced

9 September 2015

The finalists of this year's Leeds International Piano Competition have been announced.

The six pianists will perform in the finals on 11 and 12 September, with the winners' gala recital taking place on 13 September.

They are:

  • Heejae Kim, 28 (Korea)
  • Tomoki Kitamura, 24 (Japan)
  • Drew Petersen, 21 (USA)
  • Vitaly Pisarenko, 28 (Russia)
  • Anna Tcybuleva, 25 (Russia)
  • Yun Wei, 21 (China)
The winner will receive a cash prize of £20,000 and a number of international engagements.

Leeds International Piano Competition

Realpiano uses Yamaha Disklavier for recording and production service

9 September 2015

Realpiano founder Jonathan Dodd in his studio
Realpiano founder Jonathan Dodd in his studio

Realpiano, established by UK-based producer Jonathan Dodd, uses the Yamaha Disklavier for its piano recording and production services.

Clients can send in their piano midi file to be recorded on the Yamaha DS6 Mk4 Pro Disklavier 7ft grand piano and returned as a full 24bit audio Wav file. Alternatively, they can book an on-site session at the Realpiano studio to play, perform and record, or book a ‘remote session’ to play and record from another Disklavier through internet syncing.

The studio also contains a suite of Brauner valve microphones with Prismsound amps and converters. The equipment is designed to produce high-quality recordings whilst saving artists money and time.

Click here to see the recording process in action.

Dodd says: ‘It’s great to be able to capture performances in such a quality environment with virtually no compression, equalisation or effects in the recording path. Clients get a full size 24 bit audio file of pure unadulterated S6 grand piano, and it is then up to them to treat it as they then wish in their production.

‘It’s been fascinating to watch the pick-up of interest with clients, not just from the London or UK music industry, but from places as diverse as New York, Seattle, Quebec, Brazil, Sydney, Iceland, Norway and Ghana.’


St John's Smith Square to host Southbank International Piano Series recitals

7 September 2015, London, UK

Piano repertoire takes centre stage at St John's next season
Piano repertoire takes centre stage at St John's next season(Photo: Joss Gamble)

St John’s Smith Square is to host the bulk of the 2015/16 and 2016/17 Southbank Centre International Piano Series while the Queen Elizabeth Hall (QEH) undergoes a two-year refurbishment.

The forthcoming season will see a total of eight Southbank Series recitals at St John’s between October 2015 and April 2016, including Nikolai Demidenko (3 Nov), Steven Osborne (3 Feb), Tamara Stefanovich (26 Feb) and the winner of the 2015 Chopin Competition (11 Mar).

‘We hope that our partnership with the SBC International Piano Series will consolidate our own programming identity, and help us to share this with a wider artistic, critical and audience base,’ says St John’s director, Richard Heason. In terms of longer-term outcomes, ‘a more defined identity’ for St John’s is high on Heason’s list.

The partnership with the Southbank is the cornerstone of a wide-ranging season of piano music at the Baroque London church. ‘When we knew the SBC International Piano Series would partly be coming to St John’s, I was keen to capitalise upon this and see how we might add value to our other wonderful events,’ explains Heason. ‘I’m aware that a number of pianists really enjoy playing here and so, for the right repertoire, it is a key venue.’

Among Heason’s personal highlights are two complete cycles: Warren Mailley-Smith’s Herculean Chopin series and the London Piano Trio playing Beethoven. He’s also looking forward to Rolf Hind’s Occupy the Pianos festival (11-13 September), and says it ‘will be wonderful to see this come to fruition’. Two-piano repertoire comes under the spotlight in April with a concert by the Labeque sisters as well as a lunchtime performance of Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen. But the icing on the cake, says Heason, will be the opportunity to hear Beethoven’s last three sonatas in a single evening at Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s SBC International Piano Series recital on 26 January.

‘The piano has the greatest repertoire by far for any solo instrument and we could programme many years of events without repetition or boredom creeping in,’ adds Heason.

St John's Smith Square

Of Keyboards and cravats: Federico Colli

3 September 2015

©Nicola Malnato

With the 2015 Leeds International Piano Competition  in full swing, we thought we’d take a look back at the 2012 winner. Federico Colli – the curly-haired, cravat-wearing Italian – thrilled judges with his performance of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, beating runner-up Louis Schwizgebel. Colli was featured as our ‘One to Watch’ in the January/February 2015 issue, and you can read the full article below.

Of keyboards and cravats

Federico Colli’s career received a boost when he won the Leeds International Piano Competition, and his recent Southbank Centre debut confirmed his original artistry. By Michael Church.


With his silk cravat and perfectly cut suit, Federico Colli walks on stage like a dandy. But as his Southbank Centre debut last April revealed, there’s a singular artistry underpinning his performance. Mozart’s Sonata No 5 in G is regarded by many pianists as downright trivial, but in Colli’s hands it opened up like a spring flower, its outer movements shot through with brilliant lights and its andante exquisitely shades. Colli tended to brush the keys rather than strike them, and he was sparing with the pedal. He was faithful to the architecture of Beethoven’s ‘Appassionata’ and white hot throughout. Colli wound up with an account of Schumann’s First Sonata so original that it might have been a brand new piece, yet it still felt true to the composer’s spirit. Colli’s ultimate gift is absolute clarity of intention.

Colli, 26, started playing the piano for fun when he was four, but insists that even at ten he wasn’t thinking about a career as a musician: maths, physics and philosophy were just as interesting to him. He played Fur Elise in his first concert; a video shows him bursting into tears after playing it because he was unhappy with his performance: ‘I felt I had a duty to the music, and I had let it down. From that moment on, I became a perfectionist.’ Growing up in Brescia – the birthplace of his hero Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli – he was taught by Sergio Marengoni, and left the Milan Conservatory at 16 with flying colours. He then went to study under the Russian pianist Konstantin Bogino, by which he was practicising for eight hours a day. Colli won the Cantu Piano Competition at 20, but got knocked out of the London International Piano Competition in the first round. ‘I was sad,’ he recalls of that event. ‘I decided to concentrate on chamber music and studying the solo piano repertoire in depth. I decided to grow up as a man.’ Three years later, in 2012, Colli won the Leeds International Piano Competition, aged 24.


‘And a new chapter of my life began. I started to think philosophically about what I played. I recently talked at length to the Italian philosopher Emanuele Severino, and we discussed the Kathekon, a benign force [defined by the ancient Greek philosophers] that can counteract all the evil in the world. The way I play Schumann’s first Sonata is my attempt to get expression to that power. I am also looking for ways in which I can apply Nietszche’s philosophy to music, and Kierkegaard’s; reading his work for me was a life changing experience.’ He observes that the philosophy of Hegal – an exact contemporary of Beethoven – can be seen reflected in the opening phase of the ‘Appassionata’, and he makes a neat case for that view, adding sternly that ‘he who does not think in this way, does not deserve to be a musician.’ His other big concern is ‘actuality in music – when a thing is complete in its essence. If you look at my performance of Shubert’s Op 142 Impromptu on Youtube, you will find my attempt to realise this.’ Chopin doesn’t interest him much, and Liszt not at all: ‘There is no mystery in them.’ He says he is still too young to understand Bach and Brahms: ‘Finding the right sound for Brahms is very hard: you need to have physical strength, be a big Genghis Khan – and also quite arrogant’. For Brahms, Radu Lupu is his exemplar. And Stravinsky? ‘Petrushka is too virtuosic for me. I am a virtuoso, I can play anything I want, but at this moment in time we don’t need more virtuosos. We need the philosophy of music.’

So where does the dandyism fit in? ‘A dandy is a man who loves beauty. I am an artist, and I love beauty and truth. And yes, I collect jackets and cravats. I counted with my girlfriend a couple of days ago – 36 cravats in my wardrobe. For jackets, I love Yashimoto and Christian Dior. But they are expensive, so I wait for the sales.’ 

Upcoming Performances:
Solo recital. Cambridge - England (19th Nov. 2015)
RTE National Symphony Orchestra. Dublin - Ireland (6th Nov. 2015)
Solo recital. Hong Kong - China (12th Oct. 2015).

To coincide with his debut at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2014, Colli released his first solo CD, entitled Pictures at an Exhibition, featuring music by Beethoven, Scriabin and Mussorgsky. Find out more and buy here

Find out more: www.federicocolli.eu

The 2015 competition

The 2015 Leeds International Piano Competition takes place from 23 August to 13 September. The finals will take place on 11 and 12 September, with the Prize Winner’s Gala Recital on 13 September.

Find out more: www.leedspiano.com

Casio announces launch of new Celviano Grand Hybrids

2 September 2015


Benjamin Grosvenor
Benjamin GrosvenorValentin Behringer


Casio is to launch its new Celviano Grand Hybrid models in October this year. A product of the company's collaboration with C. Bechstein, the new instruments combine features of digital and acoustic pianos while replicating the touch of a grand piano. 

The GP-500BP and GP-300 models feature a Grand Acoustic System which will replicate the depth of sound of a grand piano, and a Natural Grand Hammer Action Keyboard (which combines spruce wooden key material as used in Bechstein grand pianos, and a new unique action mechanism that allows the pianist to produce a nuanced sound and delicate touch). 
The newly developed AiR Grand Sound Source simulates the string resonance of a grand piano and realises even and natural tonal changes. It also enables the instruments to produce the Berlin Grand, Hamburg Grand and Vienna Grand piano sounds. This feature is also available on the Celviano AP-700. 

Benjamin Grosvenor, who been appointed as the brand ambassador for the range, said: 'I’ve really enjoyed my time so far playing the Celviano Grand Hybrid, and I’m very impressed with the quality of the instrument and the depth of touch it has, as well as its unique features - for example, the choice of three of the world’s most renowned piano sounds. Being able to play silently with my headphones in the comfort of my own space, while experiencing real piano action is a great benefit. I think this instrument would be a fantastic learning tool for aspiring young pianists, given the inclusion of a real piano action, and also something for those professionals who might need to practise during non-social hours. I’m delighted to be involved in the project.'

The release of the Celviano Grand Hybrids mark 30 years of Casio making digital pianos. 

Celviano Digital Pianos

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