Rhinegold John Lill heads the line-up at the 2020 Wales International Piano Festival

Josephine Miles

Wales International Piano Festival announces 2020 programme

4:32, 20th January 2020

British pianist John Lill is to open this year’s Wales International Piano Festival with a recital of Beethoven piano sonatas

The festival, which is organised by Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias under the artistic leadership of Iwan Llewelyn-Jones, takes place at Galeri Caernarfon from 1 to 4 May 2020. The music of Beethoven will take centre stage, in celebration of the composer’s 250th anniversary, with other focuses including the music of the 1920s and new commissions from Welsh composers.

Lill, a renowned Beethoven interpreter, will perform four of Beethoven’s most famous piano sonatas – the Pathétique, Waldstein, Moonlight and Appassionata – in his opening recital on 1 May. A chamber music concert on 2 May features Beethoven’s Archduke piano trio and his arrangements of Welsh folk songs for voice and piano trio (WoO 155), alongside the world premiere of four new chamber pieces based on Welsh folk song by Pwyll ap Sion, Joseph Davies, Sarah Lianne Lewis and Bethan Morgan-Williams.

The winner of BBC Young Musician of the Year 2018, Lauren Zhang, will perform in the ‘Fiesta’ concert on 3 May, which also includes multi-hand piano works by Satie, Saint-Saëns, Percy Grainger and William Walton.

Three competitions (Junior Solo, Senior Solo and Piano Accompaniment) form an integral part of the festival too. The finals will be held on 3 and 4 May, with prize money totalling £9,400.

Iwan Llewelyn-Jones commented: ‘We want to inspire the next generation of young pianists and musicians from the local community, as well as bringing world class performers to Caernarfon. People should have access to music of the highest quality on their doorstep and that’s our principal aim with this unique festival.’

For further information and to book tickets, visit pianofestival.co.uk

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