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Pianists at the Proms



A strong line-up of new and established stars of the piano will bring concerto classics from Mozart to Shostakovich to London’s Royal Albert Hall throughout the summer. The BBC Proms were launched on Friday at the Imperial War Museum to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.


The first pianist to appear in the new season will be Francesco Piemontesi, who made a strong impression in 2016 with the ‘Coronation’ Concerto of Mozart. He returns this year on the second night, 14 July, to play Mozart’s final concerto. On 15 July a Young Musician Prom celebrates the 40th anniversary of the competition with appearances from Martin James Bartlett, Freddy Kempf and Lara Melda.


Another former BBC Young Musician winner, Benjamin Grosvenor makes two appearances, in Mozart (the C major Concerto K467, on 24 August) and Gershwin: he plays the original jazz-band version of Rhapsody in Blue at a late-night Prom on 16 August with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. There’s more late-night magic from Sir András Schiff on 29 August, when he continues his series of Bach recitals with Book 2 of the Well-Tempered Clavier.


Notable debuts at the 2018 Proms include the French pianist Bertrand Chamayou, soloist in Mendelssohn’s sparkling First Piano Concerto on 20 July, and the multi-talented Uri Caine, who joins the Swedish Chamber Orchestra on 5 August as both soloist and composer for The Brandenburg Project: Bach’s concertos are paired across two concerts with UK premieres of recent work by Caine, Olga Neuwirth and Mark-Anthony Turnage, among others.


Completing the trilogy of major concert works by Gershwin, Angela Hewitt joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra and its chief conductor Sakari Oramo on 18 July for An American in Paris, and Inon Barnatan arrives with one of the festival’s notable visitors, the Minnesota Orchestra, with the Concerto in F on 6 August. Other classy concerto guest pairings include Khatia Buniatishvili and the Estonian Festival Orchestra (in Grieg’s concerto, 13 August), Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the Baltimore Symphony (Bernstein’s ‘Age of Anxiety’ Symphony on Bank Holiday Monday, 27 August) and, most notably, Yuja Wang, playing Prokofiev’s Third Concerto with the Berliner Philharmoniker, who return for two nights (1-2 September) as part of their first foreign tour with their new and enigmatic Principal Conductor Designate, Kirill Petrenko.


Some of the above pianists have featured inside and on the cover of Pianist. See below:


Khatia Buniatishvili, issue 67

Benjamin Grosvenor, issue 63

Angela Hewitt, issue 66

András Schiff, issue 76

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, issue 11

Yuja Wang, issue 65

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