Thrust into the international limelight at the age of 17, time is on the side of Louis Schwizgebel. Guy Rickards meets a young pianist who has already passed a number of important milestones in a career which is growing in range and ambition
The long game
Though music competitions can launch a career overnight, they can also be an enduring curse: expensive, prone to corruption, overhyped and against the very spirit of true musicianship. Robert Turnbull weighs up the pros and cons of life in the competitive lane
The ill-tempered clavier
These days there seems to be a hit parade for everything, with sweeping but meaningless judgements about who’s hot and who’s not. Our dyspeptic columnist Charivari* has put together a little list of his own…
Described as ‘the poet-philosopher of the piano’, Nelson Goerner brings a mixture of concentrated power, deep insight and impish delight to his playing. Jonathon Brown discovers Goerner’s engaging sense of fun, along with a deeply focused, slow-burn approach to playing great music such as Beethoven’s mighty Hammerklavier Sonata, which he has finally recorded 25 years after his first encounter with the work.
Challenging the received wisdom that programmatic music is inferior to more purist forms of composition, resident artist Llŷr Williams’ introduces his latest concert series at Galeri in North Wales, devised around music and pictures
Having defied its early critics and established strong international credentials, the Van Cliburn Competition has been undergoing some further refinement, with distinguished new appointments taking up key roles during the 2017 event. Stephen Wigler finds out what’s in store
In the fourth and final part of his survey, Jeremy Nicholas shines the spotlight on a generation of talented women pianists who reached the pinnacle of their profession around the advent of the recording era but, in spite of living well into the 20th-century, have plunged into near-obscurity
Introducing his new recording for Avie, pianist Charles Owen helps Jeremy Nicholas to unravel some of the musical intrigues and intricacies of Bach’s Six Partitas
With Christmas just around the corner, you may already be wondering what to buy for the pianophile in your life. IP is here to help with a few suggestions…
Many pianists give scales short shrift when it comes to practice time. However, scales form the bedrock of much great music, so Murray McLachlan proposes four simple steps that will help you to learn to love them
Seeing the light
Bryce Morrison undertakes an epic survey of Alfred Brendel’s career, listening to a series of landmark recordings originally on the Philips label and brought together in a new celebratory collection by Decca. He discovers an artist like no other, whose career has been characterised by insightful revelations, constant reinvention and a deeply felt spiritual quest for musical truth
First among equals
The Cleveland International Piano Competition, now a quadrennial event, fielded a group of young semifinalists who could all have been winners in what proved to be an exceptional year. Stephen Wigler attuned himself to the nuanced differences in their playing in the final demanding rounds.
Lost and found
A previously unissued studio recording made in 1968 has turned out to be a vivid and compelling account of the creative genius of Bill Evans at the height of his powers. Andy Hamilton is enthralled by this newly discovered snapshot from jazz history
Italy’s greatest living jazz pianist, Enrico Pieranunzi’s brings the classical lyricsm of his native land to the more muscular influences of American bebop. The infl uence of Bill Evans has led to a soft er, more narrative approach to his keyboard compositions, combined with his own liberating exploration of improvisation.
Music of my life
From desert island Beethoven to Keith Jarrett jamming jazz, a series of legendary performances have inspired Steven Osborne’s own diverse career on the concert platform and in the studio