Tamara Stefanovich

Winner takes it all

Aged 25, the Lithuanian-Russian piano virtuoso Lukas Geniušas is already a veteran of major competitions. He explains to Ismene Brown that in a media-driven world, such events provide an important platform for career-building and public recognition

Order of merit

Pianists are often called ‘internationally renowned’ when in fact they are nothing of the kind. Jeremy Nicholas pleads for credit only where it is really due

Touching complexity

The Serbian-born pianist Tamara Stefanovich has enjoyed a steady rise to the top of her field, performing everything from Bach to Boulez and beyond, often in surprising and thought-provoking juxtapositions of core repertoire and contemporary works. She talks to Owen Mortimer about her journey from the Balkans to her current home in Berlin, and how the challenge of re-starting her life several times over has enriched her understanding of music.

Mutual benefits

By Benjamin Ivry

Throughout history, composers have designated particular performers as ‘foremost interpreters’ of their music. Benjamin Ivry investigates the mysterious chemistry between the creators of new work and the performers who bring it to life, uncovering musical friendships that have proved frustrating and volatile, yet often fruitful

À la française

By Robert Turnbull

The early years of the 21st century have seen the steady rise of French pianists and French repertoire, finally gaining international recognition after decades of neglect. Robert Turnbull takes stock of the shifting axis of Europe’s finest piano-playing talent in favour of France

Personal touch

By Yacha Maclasha

It’s time to clear the air when it comes to Brahms’ solo piano works, says Jonathan Plowright. For too long, the composer has been subject to overindulgent interpretations, without any regard for the subtle textures and careful markings in his scores

The colour of genius

From epoch-making subtlety to the brink of excess, the music of Olivier Messiaen creates and inhabits an expressive world all its own. Jeremy Siepmann joins seven of the composer’s foremost interpreters to explore his vast and extraordinary oeuvre

Performance anxiety

By Murray McLachlan

Murray McLachlan offers some hints for overcoming the worst effects of nerves at the keyboard

Playing with fire

By Bryce Morrison

Unpredictable and uncompromising, Vladimir Horowitz’s performances displayed a wild wizardry that propelled his audiences beyond their comfort zone. His fearless playing set the music world ablaze, inspiring adoration and loathing in equal measure. Bryce Morrison recalls a series of encounters with an idiosyncratic musical genius

Glory fays

By Stephen Wigler

The results from this year’s International Chopin Piano Competition seemed clear cut, with the winners placed points ahead of their rivals in the final reckoning. However, a closer investigation of the jury’s marking gives a somewhat different twist to the story. Stephen Wigler reports from Warsaw

The complete picture

Warren Mailley-Smith’s epic undertaking to perform all the solo piano music of Chopin is gathering momentum. He explains how he has prepared for the mental, emotional and physical demands of the 11-concert cycle at St John’s Smith Square

Elmo Hope

By Graham Lock

A troubled life and premature death meant that Elmo Hope has been cast as a tragic figure, clouding the contribution he made to the development of jazz in postwar America. Graham Lock reaffirms Hope’s reputation as a highly original blues musician and one of the architects of bebop piano

Music of my life

By Jeremy Nicholas

From childhood memories of Mozart to the stirring strains of Bruckner, Freddy Kempf’s musical recollections are closely connected with the physical world around him