Mariam Batsashvili has rejected the trappings of today’s classical concert world with all its fashion-parade mentality. Jessica Duchen meets one of pianism’s purists
Benjamin Ivry considers the role of performers in rescuing music from the effects of over-exposure
British pianist Paul Lewis is one of today’s leading interpreters of the classics, celebrated for his calm, focused intensity and eloquence at the keyboard. He has recently embarked on a series of Haydn sonata recordings that he hopes will bring these playful and elegant masterpieces to greater prominence, as well as marking a new milestone in his own artistic journey. Owen Mortimer went to meet Lewis at his family home near London
The noise of battle
As the world commemorates the ceasing of hostilities in 1918, Benjamin Ivry examines the impact of the Great War on pianists and piano music
Now almost a forgotten figure, Frederic Lamond was, at the turn of the 20th century, one of the most celebrated pianists of his day. A pupil of Liszt and a protégé of Hans von Bülow, Lamond moved in elevated musical circles while staying true to his working-class Scottish roots, cutting a swathe across Europe’s principal concert venues and making history as a pioneer in the recording studio. Jeremy Nicholas surveys the life and achievements of an exceptional artist who deserves to take his place among the front rank of Golden Age pianists
For Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson, Bach’s keyboard works offer an intimate and revelatory glimpse into the more human aspects of the composer. Yet, he says, art always transcends the artist, no matter how close he feels to Bach as a man
Steinway & Sons
The practice of decorating keyboard instruments which began with harpsichords, virginals and clavichords still continues today, with eye-catching pianos that employ a wide range of modern materials and design techniques. IP spoke to Steinway & Sons about some of their most beautiful and extravagant art case projects in recent times
The modest city of Kalamazoo in the US state of Michigan has built a remarkable reputation as an international centre for great pianism, attracting some of the world’s most celebrated artists for the Gilmore Keyboard Festival each spring. Stephen Wigler soaked up the atmosphere at this year’s festival, where a new boss is planning to increase the global profile of this influential event
With a new team at its helm, blending half a century of tradition with a new era of innovation, the Leeds International Piano Competition has become a celebration of music-making that offers something for everyone. Murray McLachlan enjoys the breadth and quality of musicianship during the triennial competition’s 2018 instalment.
A previously unknown recording of Rachmaninov at the piano demonstrating his Symphonic Dances for a private audience has sent pianophiles into a frenzy of anticipation. Is the hype justified? Jeremy Nicholas finds out what the recording has to tell us about the composer and his creative intentions
Freedom lies at the heart of Howard Riley’s approach to music-making, though even in their unfettered spontaneity, his compositions have a deep-seated lyricism and sense of style that marks them out as the work of an individual.
Music of my life
Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter grew up in a household filled with music. Her mother, a singer, instilled in her a love of the human voice, and the story-telling properties of song, opera and oratorio have been a constant inspiration in her approach to the piano repertoire