As pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard commented on the occasion of the composer’s 90th birthday last year,‘In his early years, Boulez was a pianist and his most important early works are all piano pieces. When he became a conductor, his most important pieces became orchestral pieces.’
The Cleveland International Piano Competition is transforming itself into a triennial festival that celebrates the art of piano playing beyond the brinksmanship of competitive performances. Stephen Wigler reports
Fast track to fame?
The 21-year old Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho shot to fame when he won last year’s International Chopin Competition, apparently plucked from obscurity. However, says Stephen Wigler, this is a young pianist who has carefully crafted a successful career from a very young age
Shoulders of giants
Historic recordings of great pianists attract huge numbers of fans, yet Stephen Wigler argues that obsession with the past is detrimental to the future of music
Yevgeny Sudbin’s lifelong love affair with Scarlatti has seen him return to the studio to make another disc of the composer’s sonatas, 10 years on from the acclaimed debut recording of Scarlatti that thrust him into the public eye. Jeremy Nicholas meets an extraordinary musical mind who has been hailed as ‘potentially one of the greatest pianists of the 21st century’
With his massive popular following, Ludovico Einaudi tends to be dismissed by classical music purists as a purveyor of Easy Listening. Behind the accessible allure of his soundworld, however, lies a musical mind that has been shaped by a rigorous academic training and thoughtful application to his craft. Claire Jackson meets the composer-pianist as he prepares for the world premiere of his new concerto
When confirmed techno-sceptic Michael Church accepted an invitation to test-run a new generation of digital pianos, he found himself falling for their versatile charms – well, almost...
Charles Owens and Katya Apekisheva each have their own distinctive style as soloists. As duo partners, however, there seems to be a meeting of hearts and minds as the two play off each other’s strengths. Michael Church gets to grips with their musical chemistry
No right turn
Life offers many and varied paths with successful outcomes. The same is true of music, where it would be wrong regard any single interpretation as the definitive version.
Mand and superman
The Hungarian-born piano virtuoso Georges Cziffra displayed superhuman qualities at the keyboard, with a larger-than-life personality that made him one of the towering artistic individuals of his time. Michael Johnson surveys an extraordinary life of triumph and tragedy that encompassed the great upheavals in European culture during the turbulent years of the 20th century