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Owen Mortimer

Star-studded online piano festival replaces 2020 Rubinstein Competition

9:21, 4th May 2020

A star-studded online piano festival is replacing this year’s Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition while the world remains in lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Arthur Rubinstein Virtual PianoFest will be livestreamed via the Facebook page of the Arthur Rubinstein International Music Society from 5 to 21 May. The programme features a wide variety of events, encompassing laureates of the Rubinstein Competition, rising pianists on the Israeli and international scene, and leading pedagogues and composers. All events take place at 6:00pm Israel time (4:00pm British Summer Time/11.00am Eastern Daylight Time).

Star recitalists include former Rubinstein Competition gold medallists Boris Giltburg, Roman Rabinovich and Alexander Korsantia, livestreaming from locations around the world. All other live performances will be streamed from Clairmont Hall at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv. A nightly recital series features 12 top young Israeli pianists, all of whom are recent winners of national piano competitions and/or members of the Rubinstein Competition Junior Jury.

A classic archive performance opens the festival on 5 May: highlights from the 2014 Rubinstein Competition Gala Concert featuring 2011 winner Daniil Trifonov playing Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, preceded by a performance of Stravinksy’s Les Noces with the Israel Camerata. Subsequent archive performances include Alexander Gavrylyuk giving his 2005 winner’s recital (18 May) and three concertos from the final of the 2017 competition: Sara Daneshpour, who came third with Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 25 (9 May), silver medallist Daniel Ciobanu in Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto (20 May), and winner Szymon Nehring, playing Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto (21 May).

A third programming strand comprises discussion-based events. Two special editions from Arie Vardi’s celebrated television series, Intermezzo With Arik, see the renowned pianist and teacher in conversation with Dr Alina Rubinstein, daughter of Arthur Rubinstein (9 May) and Georgian pianist Alexander Korsantia, winner of the 1995 Rubinstein Competition (16 May). On 14 May, five of Israel’s most distinguished teachers and composers gather for a panel discussion on Israeli music for piano, while on 15 May, teacher and pianist Michal Tal appears in a specially assembled archive programme featuring past commissions for the Rubinstein Competition. This event also includes footage of Tal as a young girl taking part in a masterclass with Arthur Rubinstein at the Jerusalem Music Centre.

The Arthur Rubinstein Virtual PianoFest is a partnership between the Rubinstein Competition and the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University. Joint artistic directors are Idith Zvi, director of the Arthur Rubinstein International Music Society, and Tomer Lev, director of the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music.

Click here to view the full schedule of the Arthur Rubinstein Virtual PianoFest

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