Daniel Tong argues the case with a new festival featuring a competition, masterclasses and celebrity recitals.
Birmingham International Piano Chamber Music Festival
20-23 November 2018
A brand new four-day festival celebrating the piano in chamber music will take place between 20-23 November at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University.
Centred unusually on a competition, the Birmingham International Piano Chamber Music Festival will include concerts by eight competing ensembles as well as masterclasses, three evening recitals featuring performances by the world class jury members themselves and showcases by gifted Conservatoire students. The concerts will take place in the stunning new Bradshaw Hall and intimate Recital Hall and the opening and closing concerts will be live-streamed by Classic FM.
The Festival has been put together by Daniel Tong, Head of Piano Chamber Music at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. He says, 'The piano in chamber music has traditionally been undervalued and underrepresented in events such as this, from the ‘accompanist prize’ in a song recital to a relative lack of successful, long-standing piano chamber ensembles. There are many events, festivals and competitions for the string quartet or solo piano and it’s time the piano was celebrated in chamber music too. So in this festival we aim to explore this unique and rich body of work.
'Chamber music is often intimate, personal music for sharing. To include a competition may seem a paradox, but our event is as collegiate and inclusive as possible. We’ll make music together, through recitals and masterclasses, and look forward to some inspiring results and fantastic performances.'
Entrants from across the globe were selected via live and live-streamed auditions with eight duos and ensembles invited to participate in the Festival. All of the ensembles will give an evening recital and take part in masterclasses. Three Celebrity Recitals by the distinguished jury members and visiting international artists will see performances by the London Bridge Trio, Gould Trio, Katya Apekisheva, Michael Gurevich, Robin Ireland, Alice Neary, Christoph Richter, John Thwaites and Daniel Tong.
Three of the competing ensembles will be selected to perform in the festival’s Grand Final concert with the winners receiving £4000, engagements including London’s Wigmore Hall and a recording with Resonus Classics.
The opening concert featuring the London Bridge Trio, Grand Final and other parts of the festival will be live-streamed by Classic FM.
The Birmingham International Piano Chamber Music Festival is at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire from Tuesday 20 – Friday 23 November. For further information and details of how to book, visit www.bcu.ac.uk/pianochamberfest18 or call 0121 331 5901.