3–7 October 2018, Kings Place, London
Third annual London Piano Festival at Kings Place with Co-Artistic Directors Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva
Solo recitals by Konstantin Lifschitz and Ingrid Fliter, amplified jazz performance by Leszek Możdżer and lecture/recital on Debussy by Paul Roberts
Two-piano Marathon with Stephen Kovacevich, Margaret Fingerhut, Konstantin Lifschitz, Ingrid Fliter, Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva which will be recorded by BBC Radio 3 for future broadcast in Radio 3 in Concert
Family concert of The Nutcracker and I by Alexandra Dariescu with piano soloist, ballerina and digital animation
Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva announce the programme of their third annual London Piano Festival, taking place from 3-7 October 2018 at Kings Place, London. This year the Co-Artistic Directors bring together seven pianists in addition to themselves for a programme of solo recitals, jazz, a family concert, lecture/recital and the highly anticipated two-piano marathon. The theme of this year’s Festival is the centenary of the death of Claude Debussy which is seen throughout the 5-day series. This year the London Piano Festival are bringing in a student ticket scheme, offering £5 tickets to a number of events during the 5-day Festival.
The highlight of the London Piano Festival is its Two-Piano Marathon, referred to as “altogether exemplary” by The Times (2016). In various pairings, Stephen Kovacevich, Margaret Fingerhut, Katya Apekisheva, Charles Owen, Konstantin Lifschitz and Ingrid Fliter perform a range of works by Brahms, Bax, Debussy, Adès, Stravinsky, Rachmaninov and more. The Two-Piano Marathon will be recorded by BBC Radio 3 for future broadcast in Radio 3 in Concert.
The Festival opens with a concert by Co-Artistic Directors Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva performing both solo and duo repertoire. Katya opens the concert performing Schubert’s Moments Musicaux 1-3, Granados’ The Maiden and The Nightingale and Ginastera’s Three Argentinian Dances before Charles performs Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit. The second half of the concert sees the duo perform Three Nocturnes by Debussy (arranged by Ravel), marking the composer’s centenary, and Milhaud’s Scaramouche.
“At the London Piano Festival we want to bring together a whole range of music appealing to piano lovers of all ages. As 2018 marks the centenary of Debussy’s death, we felt it was important to mark this within our programming this year. We also love to present contemporary music at the Festival and this year we’ll be performing an existing piece by Thomas Adès who is a great friend of Charles’.” Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva
Both Owen and Apekisheva will be releasing solo albums to coincide with the opening concert of the London Piano Festival this year. Katya is releasing an album of Scriabin, Chopin and Fauré impromptus on Champs Hill Records, a programme which she brought to the Festival in 2016. Charles is releasing a double-disc of Brahms’ late piano works on Avie. This follows the recent release of their duo recording in January 2018, Rachmaninov: The two-piano suites; Six Morceaux, Op. 11 which Gramophone magazine called “a highly recommendable disc”.
The London Piano Festival features two solo recitals by pianists making their debuts at Kings Place. Russian pianist Konstantin Lifschitz performs a programme of works by Schubert, Janáček and Debussy, and Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter performs Beethoven Sonatas before they both join the Two-Piano Marathon. Celebrated Polish jazz pianist Leszek Możdżer brings a night of amplified jazz to the Festival, following his sold-out show at Kings Place in 2017 which London Jazz News called “a great show that held the attention from start to finish”.
Commemorating the centenary of Claude Debussy, concert pianist and writer Paul Roberts presents a lecture/recital in Kings Place’s Hall Two about Debussy’s Piano Music on Saturday 6 October, focussing on Debussy’s Images books I and II. Paul Roberts is the leading authority on the music of Debussy and Ravel, having written Images: The Piano Music of Claude Debussy, Debussy: a biography and Reflections: The Piano Music of Maurice Ravel.
For this year’s family concert, Alexandra Dariescu brings her ground-breaking multi-media piece The Nutracker and I, by Alexandra Dariescu for piano soloist, ballerina and digital animation to Kings Place for the first time, following its critically-acclaimed world premiere last year. Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet music features throughout and includes favourites such as Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Arabian Dance, Chinese Dance, Pas de Deux, and the Flower Waltz in 15 virtuosic arrangements by Mikhail Pletnev, Stepan Esipoff, Percy Grainger and three brand new variations by Gavin Sutherland. Dariescu is releasing an album of The Nutcracker and I on Signum Classics on 27 April.