Joanna MacGregor launches Dartington International Summer School 2015
16 December 2014
Joanna MacGregor has revealed the full programme for Dartington International Summer School’s 2015 instalment, her first as artistic director. MacGregor, who is head of piano at the Royal Academy of Music, took over the post on a permanent basis following the interim appointment of Nicholas Daniel for 2014’s summer school.
Dartington International Summer School (DISS) runs from 1 to 29 August in 2015 – providing participants with an extra week compared to 2014 (although remaining one week shorter than in 2013 and in the years prior to that). It also includes the restoration of jazz courses and the popular advanced opera class to the programme.
Speaking at the launch event against a backdrop of enticing photographs depicting the Devonshire setting, MacGregor described the summer school’s rural location as ‘dream-like and very inspiring’.
‘Dartington Summer School has been at the hub of many musicians’ lives for over sixty years,’ explained MacGregor, citing some visitors who make it an annual pilgrimage. ‘Musicians such as Yehudi Menuhin, and currently, Emma Kirkby, came to the school as students and then returned as teachers.’
The school is divided into four week-long mini series and pianists will be most interested in week three (15-22 August), which features Alfred Brendel and Steven Osborne. Osborne leads several masterclasses and prospective attendees are invited to apply in advance by sending two contrasting recordings and a short CV to email@example.com. The esteemed Brendel will give three 70-minute lectures (18-20 August); the third takes its title from Brendel’s recent short survey A Pianist’s A-Z. MacGregor will also give a session on Mozart’s piano concertos that week, teaming up with the conducting course to consider contrasting interpretations of Wilhelm Kempf, Clara Haskil and Daniel Barenboim.
‘There is a uniqueness to the scope of the summer school,’ says MacGregor. ‘Our ethos has always been to cater for both amateur musicians and professionals. We’ve put together a meaningful programme that offers something for all visitors; from Medieval through to contemporary music.’
Bursaries are available; applicants must send two contrasting recordings or scores and a short CV to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 March.
Dame Fanny Waterman to step down from Leeds International Piano Competition
16 December 2014
Dame Fanny Waterman, who turns 95 next yearPhoto by Andy Manning
Dame Fanny Waterman has announced that she will retire from her role as chairman and artistic director of the Leeds International Piano Competition following the 2015 event. The exact date of her retirement will depend on the appointment of her successor.
Dame Fanny Waterman’s decision comes as she approaches her 95th birthday in March.
With her late husband, Dr Geoffrey de Keyser and with Marion Thorpe CBE, then the Countess of Harewood, and with the support of Jack and Roslyn Lyons, Dame Fanny Waterman founded the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1961. The first event followed in 1963. The 18th instalment of the triennial Competition takes place between 26 August and 13 September 2015 in Leeds.
Under Dame Fanny Waterman’s leadership, ‘the Leeds’ has long been regarded as one of the most coveted platforms in the piano world. Artists including Radu Lupu, Murray Perahia and Sunwook Kim launched their careers by taking first prize at ‘the Leeds’; Sir András Schiff, Mitsuko Uchida and Lars Vogt, meanwhile, are among the Competition’s illustrious finalists.
IP Reader offer: 50% off tickets to see Johan Hugosson at St James’s Church, London
27 November 2014
Swedish pianist-composer Johan Hugosson will perform his new works Fate and Northern Lights on 28 November at St James’s Church, London – and IP readers can attend for just £10.
The candlelit concert – sponsored by the Anglo-Swedish Society – is entitled ‘Nordic Romance’ and features the 2012 piece Dusk to Dawn, as well as Literas Loquendi, which was showcased for the first time earlier this year. The programme, inspired by Viking journeys described by Frans G Bengtsson in The Long Ships, takes the audience on a Scandinavian-themed musical adventure.
Hugosson was born in Lund, Sweden, and he studied at the Royal College of Music in London and the Royal Danish Conservatoire in Copenhagen. The pianist-composer will be accompanied by the Belsize String Quartet, which recently performed with Gidon Kremer and Martha Argerich in Argentina.
Concert organisers are offering IP readers 50% off tickets, now £10 each (including online booking fee).
Tickets can be purchased here, using the code ‘DISCOUNT’ in the ‘Enter a password’ field.
London International Piano Symposium returns in February
24 November 2014
The Symposium brings together those at the forefront of research into piano performance and pedagogy
The second London International Piano Symposium will be held 13-15 February at the Royal College of Music. This event focuses on the science of piano performance and pedagogy, bringing together a wide range of experts from musical and scientific fields to give three days of lecture recitals, papers and debates.
The first Symposium, held in 2013, covered topics such as ‘the pianist’s brain’ and ‘the physiology of performance’. The 2015 Symposium looks set to be just as diverse; the roundtable debate, for example, will bring together a sports psychologist and a member of the Osteopathy Council as well as various musical specialists, to discuss how pianists can develop a more unified approach to piano performance.
Pianist and musicologist Cristine MacKie, whose research is focused on the role of the body in piano performance, founded the Symposium. MacKie sees performance science as a field that has great potential for the advancement of piano performance and pedagogy. Her aim is that the Symposium ‘may contribute toward the beginning of a “rethink” in piano performance by kindling the notion that “expert pianism” may be accomplished by encouraging performers and pedagogues to develop themselves more fully by exploring the interface between art and science.’
The Symposium celebrates collaboration between disciplines and brings together those at the forefront of research into piano performance and pedagogy. It will be of interest to anyone who wishes to find out more about the latest advancements in these fields – which is the reason that Ghada Hakin at the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music is planning to attend: ‘I currently have up to 44 piano students in the Conservatory and I do realise that piano pedagogy is evolving at such a fast pace, that if I do not keep up with the updates, I am running the risk of teaching piano in the old fashioned way.’
The fee to attend all three days is £375.
IP writer Murray McLachlan publishes new piano technique book
11 November 2014
Concert pianist, teacher and IP contributor Murray McLachlan has released a new book The Foundations of Technique, based on his ‘Masterclass’ series published in IP.
The Foundations of Technique offers an innovative approach to technique. It includes information and exercises that are relevant for beginners and intermediate players as well as post-graduate students and professional concert pianists.
McLachlan has always emphasised that piano technique does not need to be divorced from artistic creativity and that ‘technique makes dreams come true’. The book considers the importance of a healthy approach to piano practice and covers all the basic principles that are essential if a reliable technique is to be achieved.
McLachlan, who is chair of European Piano Teacher’s Association (EPTA-UK), head of Keyboard at Chetham’s School of Music and a senior tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music, continues his ‘Masterclass’ series for IP, in addition to his more recent column, ‘Helping hands’, written specifically for intermediate pianists.
Faber Music is offering IP readers 10% off the book, which is priced £9.99. To claim your discount, click here and enter code INTERP001.
Offer available online only.
Ends 31 December