Traktatie en weldaad voor de oren: de jonge Tsjechische pianiste Natalie Schwamova

De piepjonge Tsjechische pianiste Natalie Schwamova (geboren in augustus 1999) heeft alles in huis waar je als liefhebber van klassieke pianomuziek de oren voor spitst en van gaat watertanden. Zij beschikt over een formidabele techniek en haar interpretaties zijn om van te smullen, een traktatie voor de oren.

Ik sta versteld van de muzikale volwassenheid die zij al op zo jonge leeftijd op het klavier tentoonspreidt. Tot in de puntjes beheerst zij het métier van verhalen vertellen met en in muziek. Wat een weldaad.

Geen wonder dat zij al prestigieuze muziekprijzen won en in de internationale muziekwereld de aandacht op zich gevestigd weet.

Geen twijfel mogelijk: van deze jongedame gaan we nog veel horen.

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Pianotalent Anastasia Rizikov (16) timmert goed aan de weg


Pianiste Anastasia Rizikov (geboren op 8 december 1998 ; Canadese, met Oekraïense familiewortels) speelt Scriabin in een recente YouTube-video. 

Al een jaar of vijf ben ik gecharmeerd van het spel van de nu 16-jarige Anastasia Rizikov. Voor mij valt zij telkens op in positieve zin, niet omdat zij – zoals ook veel andere jonkies – foutloos nootjes kan spelen, maar omdat haar vertolkingen (imho) body en karakter vertonen, waardoor je de oren gaat spitsen. Anastasia Rizikov timmert goed aan de weg en haar prestaties totnutoe zijn niet onopgemerkt gebleven. Zij geeft in de Verenigde Staten en in Canada naast recitals ook veel concerten met symfonieorkesten en in de afgelopen jaren won zij in Canada, in de Verenigde Staten en in Europa al diverse internationale pianoconcoursen, zoals is te lezen in de biografie op haar website.

Anastasia Rizikov in 2010           hierboven iets wat ik in 2010 schreef op Facebook over Anastasia Rizikov

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Pianist Joey Alexander, an 11-year-old jazz sensation

Joey Alexander, an 11-year-old jazz sensation on piano, was discovered in Jakarta, Indonesia, about three years ago. He then moved with his parents to New York, where he’s become a well known name in the jazz scene. Now the jazzpiano prodigy has just released his debut album ‘My Favorite Things’.

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De jonge pianist Evgeny Bozhanov: bijzondere interpretaties, grote muzikale persoonlijkheid

De jonge Bulgaarse pianist Evgeni Bozhanov (geb. 1984) speelt prachtig. Velen, waaronder ikzelf, leerden hem kennen dankzij z’n wondermooie spel tijdens prestigieuze pianoconcoursen. In 2010 toonde hij z’n topkwaliteiten met het behalen van de tweede prijs op de Koningin Elisabeth Wedstrijd en op het Chopin Concours in Warschau werd hij zeer verdienstelijk vierde. Z’n interpretaties zijn heel bijzonder en tonen z’n grote muzikale persoonlijkheid.


Evgeny Bozhanov speelt Sonetto del Petrarca van Franz Liszt

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Music by accident – Gabriela Montero’s ‘Piece for Ruth’

Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero is known for her musical multitalent. She’s an internationally renowned classical pianist and equally famous as a brilliant improviser on the keyboard. Add to that her talent as a composer. Proof of this is A Piece for Ruth, her first composition for piano and violin. The title of the composition refers to Ruth Palmer, one of Britain’s finest young violinists, who was hit six years ago in London’s Fleet Street by a motorbike driven by… the younger brother of Gabriela’s boyfriend. This accident – you can read more about it here – inspired the writing of the music for Ruth, who’s now a good friend of Gabriela. On Friday December 7th 2012 A Piece for Ruth premiered in the Caspary Auditorium of New York’s Rockefeller University – see the video below – with Gabriela Montero on piano and Ruth Palmer on violin. Wonderful music and performance. Lovin’ it! 🙂

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Valentina Lisitsa’s Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3 with LSO released by Decca


On 3 December 2012 another piece of Valentina Lisitsa’s long awaited Rachmaninoff recordings with the London Symphony Orchestra was released by Decca: Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3. Earlier on, in October 2012, Decca released Piano Concerto No.2. In January/February 2013 Decca will release Lisitsa’s recordings of Piano Concerti No.1 and No.4 and also the Paganini Variations. The four concerti and the variations are initially released separately and online in mp3-quality. Around March 2013 the complete set will be boxed and released on CD. Below a few videos concerning the Rach#3 concerto as played by Valentina Lisitsa, some of them material from the above mentioned and now being released 2009-2010 Rachmaninoff Project. Two of the videos below show some of my own footage.


Decca-promo on Valentina Lisitsa’s channel


Hey, I also did a short promo 🙂


Rachmaninoff Concerto No.3 “Solo” version, 1st movement (with ossia Cadenza )


Rachmaninoff Concerto No.3 “Solo” version, 2nd movement


Rachmaninoff Concerto No.3 “Solo” version, 3rd movement


Valentina Lisitsa / Solotake Recordings Rachmaninoff Concerto No.3, filmed by me at Abbey Road Studios

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On Sunday 28 October 2012: free LIVE-stream Valentina Lisitsa concert Rachmaninoff PC#3

Here’s a reminder of a free live-webstream that’s not to be missed, as it involves a perfect musical combination: composer Sergei Rachmaninoff and pianist Valentina Lisitsa.

On Sunday 28 October 2012, at 2:15pm CET, Valentina Lisitsa performs the Rachmaninoff No.3 Piano Concerto with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in De Doelen in Rotterdam. I’ll be in the Rotterdam audience, but for evryone who can’t be there in Rotterdam, the live-stream – via this link – offers a unique opportunity to witness and enjoy exceptional Rachmaninoff performer Valentina Lisitsa live in concert. Not-to-be-missed!

To give a taste of her exquisite Rachmaninoff #3-playing, the two videos below show some of Valentina’s ‘minus orchestra’-rehearsing, filmed by me in December 2009 in London’s Abbey Road Studios.

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Perhaps new opportunities for raga playing… pianists?

For those who (keep trying to) play ragas on a piano – but do they play ragas? I don’t think so – perhaps for them this ‘fluid’ piano opens up new opportunities in regard to the use of different tunings, but also in regard to pitch shifting or bending the notes during playing. 🙂

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On my YT-channel: Valentina Lisitsa talks about Rachmaninoff in video with all new material

Yesterday I published a new video of pianist Valentina Lisitsa, containing footage of not formerly published segments of an interview with her about – primarily – Rachmaninoff. I revisited and reconsidered some of my unpublished footage and photos, resulting in this new video, I thought it would be worthwhile to share it with the YouTube audience.


Still from my video (at 12’54”) and from another era it seems… Valentina as a youngster playing chess.

Earlier on I already produced and published on YouTube a documentary on Valentina’s Rachmaninoff Project with the London Symphony Orchestra. The fabulous recordings done in the Abbey Road Studios in 2009 and 2010 will be released later on in 2012 by Decca.

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