Casio announces launch of new Celviano Grand Hybrids
2 September 2015
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
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.
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