The Musical Brain prepares for upcoming Beethoven conference
16 April 2012
Thinking organisation The Musical Brain has announced details of its upcoming conference ‘The Beethoven Question: Can Art Make Life Worth Living?’, which will be held in the Purcell Room at the Southbank Centre on 27 and 28 October.
Speakers include Barry Cooper, world authority on Beethoven and Professor of Music at the University of Manchester, and writer Stephen Johnson Writer, regular presenter of BBC Radio 3’s Discovering Music, among other notable participants.
The Musical Brain examines the effects of music and other art forms upon the human mind, brain and body, and creates opportunities for intellectuals and artists to debate issues before an audience of enthusiasts. Delegates include individuals with an amateur interest in the subject and participants from within the music industry.
Tickets are priced £95 for a single day and £160 for the weekend (with limited student tickets on offer for £45 and £75 respectively) and are available online here or via the box office on 0844 847 9910.
Norway's Lofoten Piano Festival postponed
12 March 2012
Pianist Christian Ihle Hadland, who was due to perform at the now-postponed Lofoten Piano Festival© Nikolaj Lund
International Piano was saddened to learn that the Lofoten Piano Festival, scheduled to take place 4-8 April this year, has been postponed.
The festival, of which IP’s current cover artist, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is artistic director, was due to be held in the Lofoten Islands in Norway. Bavouzet told IP that he was keen for people to have ‘an enriching experience not only musically but from a human point of view’ in a place that is ‘like no other, something very special in terms of the landscape and the light’.
The festival has revealed that the delay is due to
‘economical insecurity’. Originally, the board received promising assurances of
financial support that allowed detailed plans to go ahead. Very recently,
however, promised funding has not materialised, suddenly endangering the
The event organisers note that ‘after all the preparation undertaken it is very frustrating as well as most embarrassing to have to postpone the Piano Festival’s first edition. The board are doing its utmost to shake up all the public and private institutions to deliver on their promises on time in the future.
‘We profoundly regret to see Jean-Efflam Bavouzet´s devoted work as artistic director not being crowned as it should have been with the greatest success.’
The festival hopes that it will be able to renew its invitation to Bavouzet, and to all the artists who intended to perform during the first instalment. Those who bought tickets will be entitled to a full refund, and are advised to call +47 91398640 or to email email@example.com.
Free piano servicing for Kemble customers
7 March 2012
Kemble Pianos have unveiled a free servicing programme for customers who purchase a new instrument throughout 2012.
The Free Piano Servicing programme offers 12 months of complimentary servicing with every new Kemble piano purchased this year. This includes two comprehensive tunings, two technical inspections, and regulation and voicing checks.
Every Kemble piano is individually voiced and adjusted in the company’s UK workshops to ensure the characteristic warmth and familiar response for which Kemble pianos are well known. In 2011 the piano makers celebrated its centenary, a milestone that International Piano marked with a series of specially commissioned illustrations (July/Aug edition, issue 8).
For further information on the Kemble servicing programme, click here.
Irreparable pianos inspire exciting new art exhibition
28 February 2012
Piano As Art, an exhibition created by artists Penny Putnam and Shauna Holiman in collaboration with Faust Harrison Pianos, has opened at the piano makers’ showroom in White Plains, New York.
The art is inspired by, and in most cases made up of, disassembled parts of irreparable pianos – antique ivories, hammers, oddly shaped inner mechanicals and bits of casework – contributed by Faust Harrison. The exhibition includes a tabletop sculpture that transforms wippens into race horses (pictured), and an elegant wall piece made of 1,640 pieces of recycled antique ivory.
On 22 March the exhibition will travel to the Flinn Gallery in Greenwich, Connecticut, and in May it moves on to the Faust Harrison Pianos Manhattan showroom on West 58th Street.
New record label for lesser-known piano music
30 January 2012
Grand Piano, a new label dedicated to classical piano recordings, will launch this March. The group will focus on rare works and lesser-known piano cycles that might otherwise have remained unrecorded.
Early releases will include the first in a series of five discs covering the complete piano works of Saint-Saëns performed by New York-based Geoffrey Burleson, and a volume of pieces by Joachim Raff, not previously recorded, by Vietnamese pianist Tra Nguyen. Piano fans can also look forward to a series of Moisey Samuilovich Vaynberg works, set to disc by Allison Brewster Franzetti, and a CD featuring Caroline Weichert performing repertoire by Erwin Schulhoff.
Long-term plans include the release of world premiere recordings of the complete piano sonatas by Christian Gottlob Neefe – famous as Beethoven’s teacher – played by Susan Kagan; Beethoven’s complete four-handed works for one piano by duo Amy and Sara Hamann; Gerhard Frommel’s piano sonatas with soloist Tatjana Blome; 100 Etudes by Johann Baptist Cramer performed by Gianluca Luisi, and the complete piano music of Alexander Tcherepnin, recorded by Giorgio Koukl.
During 2012 Grand Piano releases will feature artwork by Gro Thorsen, a London-based graduate of Wimbledon School of Fine Art, on its CD covers (pictured). The label will be distributed worldwide by the Naxos Group.