Yamaha piano selection sessions extended
4 August 2015, Katy Wright
Yamaha has extended its piano selection sessions at the Southbank Centre, London due to popular demand. Following the success of the 2014 edition, this year's event has been extended to three days, and will take place 16-18 October.
Individuals or representatives of institutions will be able to book 45-minute slots to view and evaluate Yamaha's professional series pianos in privacy, with a concert technician and a team of piano specialists at hand to provide advice.
The event will feature over 45 Yamaha pianos, including a wide range of CX and CF series instruments and, for the first time, a full range of the TransAcoustic models. There will be several public events, including demonstrations of the TransAcoustic instruments featuring Bert Smoernburg.
Yamaha's Leanne Barrell said: 'The selection sessions provide people who are serious about their pianos and music with an exclusive opportunity to play a wide range of Yamaha professional pianos in one place. The intimate and tranquil environment allows them to discuss their requirements with some of the UK's foremost technicians and specialists. They provide the most comprehensive range of Yamaha pianos in the UK and are a rare opportunity for pianists to try multiple variations of the same models.'
To book a private appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01908 369224. The slots are between Friday 09:00-20:30, Saturday 09:00 – 19:55 and Sunday 09:00 – 17:25.
Rhinegold Publishing announces 'Occupy the Pianos' media partnership
29 July 2015, London, UK
Occupy the Pianos artistic director Rolf Hind(Photo: Paul Frank Rogers)
Rhinegold's International Piano magazine has become the media partner of this year's Occupy the Pianos festival at St John's Smith Square in London.
Curated by the pianist and composer Rolf Hind, the three-day celebration of modern and contemporary music (11-13 September 2015) investigates the full gamut of what’s possible for pianos past, present and future.
American composers feature strongly with music by Adams, Cage, Copland, Feldman, Meredith Monk and Pauline Oliveros, including a solo recital by the New York-based pianist and writer Adam Tendler.
A focus on music for two pianos will see performances of Steve Martland's Drill (11 September) plus works by Kurtág, Ligeti and Rebecca Saunders (12 September). Meanwhile, a composer workshop (13 September) explores new pieces for two pianos and one piano four hands.
Repertoire for prepared piano also comes under the spotlight: Hind and Tendler each perform masterpieces by John Cage (12 September), while the festival's opening concert (11 September) features Karl Aage Rasmussen's haunting Mahler/Mozart collage Genklang (Echo) for four keyboard instruments.
On Saturday night (12 September), the festival plays host to 'Queer Pitch' – an event described by Rolf Hind as 'a gay cabaret'. The programme mixes readings and music by Michael Finnissy, Meredith Monk, Pauline Oliveiros, David Del Tredici and Claude Vivier alongside the extraordinary and rarely played Gay Guerrilla for four pianists by the sadly neglected and tragically short-lived Julius Eastman.
Occupy the Pianos culminates in a newly devised work for pianist and dancer – the award-winning Jonathan Goddard – and Schoenberg’s menacing masterpiece Pierrot Lunaire, sung by the British-born mezzo Loré Lixenberg (13 September).
'The combination of artists and music makes Occupy the Pianos fascinating because it enables us to present works that don't often get performed, such as Pierrot Lunaire and Steve Martland's effervescent, energetic Drill', says Richard Heason, director of St John's Smith Square. 'There'll be seven pianists working round the clock at St John's for a week, so we'll be opening every day at 6am and closing at 1am: it really is an occupation!''
Czech pianist Ivan Moravec dies aged 84
27 July 2015, Katy Wright
The Czech pianist Ivan Moravec has died aged 84.
Moravec began piano lessons at age seven, continuing his studies at Prague Conservatory and Prague Academy of the Arts. In 1957, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli invited Moravec to attend his masterclasses in Arezzo.
He made his first recording with the Connoisseur Society in 1962, and his New York debut two years later, appearing with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra. The success of this concert placed Moravec in the international spotlight, launching his career.
Smetana and Dvorák were at the heart of Moravec's repertoire, but he will be remembered for his Chopin. He recorded for a number of labels, including Nonesuch, Dorian and Supraphon, but his early recordings of Chopin for Connoisseur Records remain the most highly regarded.
In 2000, Moravec received the Charles IV Prize, the Czech Republic's most prestigious award for service to humanity.
- Ivan Moravec, pianist, born 9 November 1930; died 27 July 2015
RCM student wins Ahmed Adnan Saygun Piano Competition
24 July 2015, Katy Wright
Salih Can Gevrek
Royal College of Music student Salih Can Gevrek took first prize in the third Ahmed Adnan Saygun Piano Competition. The 23-year-old will receive a 3,000TL (£7k) prize and will perform at the 2016 International Gümüşlük Classical Music Festival.
For the final round of the competition, which took place on 23 July in Gümüşlük Ancient Stone Quarry, Gevrek performed Rachmaninov's 'Six Moments Musicaux' and Saygun's Sonotin, Horon.
The panel, comprised of Gülsin Onay, Martin Roscoe and Vyacheslav Gryaznov, awarded second prize to Atakan Oyal and third prize to Ecem Alnıaçık. Oyal received the prize for 'Best Saygun Interpretation', while Alnıaçık was named the audience favourite.
The Ahmed Adnan Saygun piano competition occurs biennially as part of the International Gümüşlük Classical Music Festival (which was awarded the European Festival Association's EFFE award for 2015-16). Each year, 50 young pianists participate in masterclasses given by the Gümüşlük Festival Academy. To date, the GFA's activities have enabled 10 students to study music through scholarships.
Kristiina Rokashevich wins 2015 Brant piano competition
17 July 2015, Katy Wright
Rokashevich in Town Hall
Estonian pianist Kristiina Rokashevich won both the main prize and audience prize at the 2015 Brant International Piano Competition, for which she received a total of £3500 and a number of recital opportunities.