16 June 2018
With all 4 due to take big strides in their individual careers over next year, they're definitely worth looking out for.
Some of these pianists are just starting out; others are almost at the height of their careers. All will very much be in the limelight this year.
1. Lauren Zhang
The only place to start is with the winner of this year's BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition. At just 16 years old, she was the youngest participant in this year's competition, but that didn't stop her from storming her way to win the prize with her performance of Prokofiev Second Piano Concerto. She has already won a host of competitions including the 15th Ettlingen International Piano Competition in Germany (2016) and the Emanuel Piano Trophy competition (2015).
2. Eric Lu
The 20-year old American pianist most recently took home the 1st place prize in the International German Piano Award in Frankfurt in 2017. He is currently studying at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, USA, with Professor Jonathan Biss and Robert McDonald.
3. Pieter de Graaf
In contrast to Zhang and Lu, Dutch pianist de Graaf takes a slightly different approach. Heavily influenced by jazz, de Graaf names the likes of Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock alongside Chopin and Bach as his biggest inspirations. He has just released his first EP, entitled “Prologue”, which you can read a Pianist review of here. De Graaf’s songs aren’t “written” in any traditional sense; instead he plays and improvises segments, records them, and listens back before deciding what to use, what to discard, and what to embellish.
4. Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch
Farrouch is an award-winning French pianist/composer and, much like Pieter de Graaf, is influenced by more than just Classical. She has most notably scored music for Channel 4 in the UK, the HBO short film, 'Love NY', and was additionally commissioned to create a sound-walk for London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Want to play like the professionals? Here's some pro advice on how to nail your scales.