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
Antonio Pappano named patron of the Keyboard Charitable Trust
11 November 2014
Sir Antonio Pappano© EMI Classics
Geoffrey Shindler OBE, chairman of the Keyboard Charitable Trust, has announced that the Royal Opera House’s eminent music director, Sir Antonio Pappano, has agreed to become the Keyboard Trust’s patron.
‘Since its foundation in 1991, it has become a tradition for the Keyboard Trust to be associated with musical excellence of the highest calibre. Sir Antonio follows in the footsteps of our co-founder, the late Claudio Abbado and, like him, is totally devoted to the development of talented young musicians,’ said Shindler.
‘We are all dependent on others,’ said Pappano. ‘As a conductor, I need motivated musicians and as a pianist, a stage on which to perform. As a freshman, I was lucky enough to be given both by Daniel Barenboim.’
The Keyboard Charitable Trust was established in 1991 and its mission is to help young keyboard players reduce the element of chance in building a professional musical career. The Trust identifies the most talented young performers (aged 18-30) and assists their development by offering them opportunities to perform throughout the world.