17 May 2013
<p> On 2 June, Markson Pianos, a leading London piano dealer, will play host to the first PianoDay London. The all-day event offers piano concerts, piano masterclasses and lectures, all taking place in Lauderdale House. PianoDay grew out of a visit that Markson's composer-teacher in residence, Lola Perin (pictured), made to the Ars Haelaieti Summer Masterclass in Slovenia. Here is her story</p> ...
PianoDay London, 2nd June 2013
By Lola Perin
There are three concert pianists at the core of the day being flown in from USA (Kevin Robert Orr), Germany (Ratko Delorko) and Slovenia (Rok Palcic). All three are close colleagues and two of them (Orr and Delorko) have high level university teaching positions, and perform, give masterclasses, and sit on juries internationally. The third (Palcic) is the young, entrepreneurial pianist and founder of the Haliaeti Summer School.
All three have been among the first to believe in my work as viable contributions to the piano repertoire, as has Markson Pianos who gave me a seven date concert series 2011 so I could launch my eight books of piano suites written over 20 years in London. Orr has taken up my compositions into his repertoire, Delorko has been teaching my work at Frankfurt Music University and introducing my pieces to concert pianists around Europe, and Rok Palcic programmed Orr to perform my work in his summer school, and arranged for the national media in Slovenia to discover my work.
The friendly, engaging and artistic nature of these phenomenal artists is made more unique by the fact that they are such good friends and there is a magic in the room when they are together!
How PianoDay came about: When I returned from hearing my work played by Orr and attending his Chopin masterclass in Slovenia July 2011 it seemed very obvious to me that I should create PianoDay in collaboration with Markson Pianos and feature the three international supporters of my works who love London and were very keen to find a way to perform here (Delorko comes once a year to St Martin in the Fields but Orr has never even been to the UK even though he has worked in China). I wanted to return the support they had shown me and find a way for them to play here. PianoDay grew out of that wish. In addition I'd been trying to find a way for Delorko, also a composer, to play more of his music in London and also present his popular History of the Piano lecture which he'd performed in five countries but not yet in the UK. I was so fascinated that he'd collected over 40 pianos to develop this talk. Soon Rok Palcic, Simon Markson and I had mapped out PianoDay and were building the website and bringing in other supporters of my repertoire; Ivory Duo Piano Ensemble (who will perform my latest work for two pianos recently premiered at Southbank Centre) and Mikael Pettersson (who also teaches my works at University of Wolverhampton). Two of the three graduates taking the masterclasses have performed my work at Southbank Centre (music for 2,4 and 6 hands at Lang Lang Inspires – the three hail from RCM, RAM and Trinity Laban).
Latest new is that Nadia Lasserson will be joining us to help Ivory Duo Piano Ensemble and me give my 'Octopus Music' a whirl ( this is music for eight hands on one piano that Nadia commissioned from me last year and which her students performed live on In Tune), and so two of my works will be performed alongside Albeniz, Bach, Barber, Beethoven, Chopin, Delorko, Glavina, Mozart, Prokofiev, Saint-Saëns, Schubert, Schumann and Stenhammar. As we know, it is essential that composers get their work published and taken up during their lifetime a to encourage its survival beyond the composer's life. For several years it was of great anxiety to me that when I depart from this life, my music would vanish with me, my entire life's work would just go up in smoke! But the anxiety has now been reduced due to the support of Marksons Pianos (who gave me the 2011 piano series), self publishing my eight books, gaining global distribution with Spartan Press, and finally with concert pianists beginning to programme me in their concerts and teach my works in music colleges. When I interviewed Kevin Robert Orr last summer in Slovenia he told me that he considers it is the duty of the performer to include work by at least one living composer in each concert programme to ensure the continuation of the repertoire. Orr's playing is simply breathtaking ('Within four bars, I recognise that a formidable, seasoned artist is at work.' Gramophone) am I am delighted that he is travelling across the Atlantic specially to perform for us!
2 June 2013
Lauderdale House, London
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