International Piano September Issue is out now!
2 September 2015
Celebrated for his prowess on the fortepiano, Ronald
Brautigam speaks to International Piano
about the differences between ancient and modern pianos and the sense of
curiosity that drives his quest for musical completeness; going for gold at the
15th International Tchaikovsky Competition; and, with a growing repertoire and
accomplished practitioners all over the world, we explore the art of the toy
piano. Plus, Rolf Hind’s Occupy the Pianos festival returns to London; Boris
Giltburg introduces his latest solo recording exploring the complexity and
depth of three Beethoven piano sonatas; Benjamin Ivry considers the extent to
which pianistic talent is innate or acquired; IP’s pick of the top five apps for serious piano students; Nikolai
Lugansky discusses his favourite recordings; the life and legacy of Percy
Grainger; festival highlights from Verbier and the BBC Proms; free sheet music
of Josef Bohuslav Foerster’s Dream
and Bagattella; and your chance to
WIN festival passes to Occupy the Pianos at St John’s Smith Square.
Bu Buy the Print here - just £7.50
· Buy the Digital Print here – just £2.49
· In selected newsagents and WH Smiths stores from 25th August.
Concert pianist Natalia Strelchenko killed in Manchester home
2 September 2015, Andrew Green
Following the discovery of the body of 38-year-old Russian-born pianist Natalia Strelchenko
, her former partner, double bassist John Martin, has been charged with murder. Martin has also been charged with the attempted murder of a boy under the age of 17.
Strelchenko, who as a performer latterly used the surname Strelle, was discovered by police at the couple’s Newton Heath home in the early hours of 30 August. The cause of death was confirmed as being due to injuries to the head and neck. In a statement, relatives of Strelchenko said they were ‘absolutely devastated’ at the death of ‘a talented, beautiful, much loved mother, daughter, sister and friend.’
Strelchenko made her concerto debut at age 12 with the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra. Her training at the St Petersburg State Conservatory was followed by studies at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. Postgraduate research made her an authority on historic piano techniques and stylistic traditions.
As a bold, extrovert performer who valued communication with audiences above all else, Strelchenko played across Europe, in the USA and the Far East, tackling not just mainstream composers such as Liszt, Chopin and Grieg but lesser-knowns: for example, the Norwegian Agathe Backer-Grøndahl, whose music features prominently among the pianist’s various commercial recordings. Recital venues in which Strelchenko appeared included Carnegie Hall and – on several occasions – the Wigmore Hall. After one such concert the critic for The Times wrote: ‘The next time Natalia Strelchenko comes to town, be there. Where others approach their instrument as they might a mausoleum, Strelchenko runs toward it…eager for arms and fingers to cascade, criss-cross and caress.’
The pianist’s solo performances were complemented by posts in France: as artistic director of the Menestrelles International Chamber Music Academy and assistant professor in the conservatoire at Belfort in eastern France. She was also a vivacious giver of public lectures.
Strelchenko moved from Norway to Manchester in 2009 when her prodigiously talented son, violinist Leo Strelle, gained a place at Chetham’s School of Music to study with Kristoffer Dolatko and latterly Sebastian Mueller. She was managed by John Martin as part of his Musicus
artist management company, whose website also lists jazz pianist/composer Mark Donlon and the Moscow Chamber Music Academy.
Gramophone award winners announced
27 August 2015
The recordings which have won Gramophone Awards in each of the 12 main categories have been announced.
Maria João Pires won the concerto category for her recording of Beethoven's third and fourth piano concertos with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding (Onyx). The instrumental award went to Piotr Anderszewski for his recordings of Bach's English Suites Nos. 1, 3 & 5 (Warner Classics).
One of the 12 category winners will be named Gramophone recording of the year at an event at St John’s, Smith Square on 17 September. The event will also announce the winners of the Gramophone artist of the year, young artist of the year and label of the year awards, as well as the recipient of the lifetime achievement award.
Gramophone editor-in-chief James Jolly said: ‘The voting process for this year’s awards entailed a wonderfully enjoyable few months, with some magnificent artists caught in their absolute prime and an industry showing flair and imagination, unimpaired by the tough market conditions. We look forward to revealing the recording of the year at the ceremony next month.’
The original Gramophone reviews of all the shortlisted recordings have been reproduced in a special digimag (in association with Qobuz) available to download for free
for iPad or tablet.
Gramophone Awards 2015
Yamaha launches piano upgrade scheme
21 August 2015
Yamaha's 'Silence is Golden' scheme allows piano owners to trade up to a new Yamaha model, offering significant financial incentives on part-exchange valuations.
Piano owners could receive up to £1500 for their instrument when they trade it in for a new Yamaha Silent, TransAcoustic or Disklavier piano.
Yamaha's Leanne Barrell said: 'There's never been a better time to consider trading up to a new Yamaha piano – whilst getting a great price on your current piano. And for the first time, this year’s scheme includes our new range of TransAcoustic Pianos, offering customers the opportunity to own the latest technology in the piano world when trading up to a new Yamaha.'
The Silence is Golden Upgrade scheme runs from 1 September until 15 January 2016.
Rare Poul Henningsen piano up for auction
19 August 2015
A rare PH Andrea Christiansen grand piano will be up for auction at London's Conway Hall next month.
Only five of the instruments, which were created and designed in Denmark by architect Poul Henningsen in 1931, were thought to exist. Examples have been exhibited at the Danish Design Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of New York.
Richard Reason, valuer at Piano Auctions Ltd, received a phone call regarding a ‘space age’ Blüthner grand, exhibited at the Frankfurt Music Fair. The caller said he had an instrument very much like it, although not by Blüthner. He sent photos to Reason, who confirmed that it was one of the unusual PH Andrea Christiansen instruments.
The current owner was 'flabbergasted' when he was told that the auction estimate would be £20,000 - 40,000. Reason said that this estimate was rather low, given that the instrument was in need of restoration.Two have sold within the last 4 years at auction for €97,000 (£68,310) and £98,500.
The owner's father-in-law bought the piano from a Fulham pub when it closed in the early 1970s, moving it to a bar above a swimming pool in Coulsdon. The celluloid transparent top had turned a nicotine brown from its time in the pub, so it was replaced with purple Perspex. During the 1980s, the piano was moved again to the owner’s home, where it was boxed and stored in a cupboard. It was finally given to the current owner and his wife for a property they had purchased in Palma Nova, Majorca.
Piano Auctions Ltd will be offering the instrument for sale on 17 September at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL (telephone 01234 831742).
Piano Auctions Ltd
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