Glasgow Royal Concert Hall welcomes big names for The Piano
Richard Goode and John Lill appear alongside The Crazy Big Piano Orchestra and Piano Lounge
An instrument that regularly tops the ‘wish I could play’ list, the piano deserves every bit of celebration that Glasgow’s festival dedicated to it can give. Featuring some of the world’s finest pianists, as well as newer talents and even opportunities for the non-gifted amateur, The Piano is an event with something for everyone who has an interest in this most versatile of musical instruments.
Now in its fourth year, the ideas behind The Piano remain the same, says Glasgow Life’s Director of Music, Svend Brown. ‘The piano is the greatest instrument to connect a wide range of musicians and personalities,’ he says, ‘and the festival makes a link with high-end professionals and everyone else participating. There are so many people learning keyboard who can be on stage, as well as the big names such as John Lill and Richard Goode.’ Making a rare appearance in Glasgow, Lill plays an all-Beethoven programme with the famous 'Moonlight', 'Pathétique' and 'Appassionata' sonatas all in the same head-turning programme.
For those not quite of his calibre, the Crazy Big Piano Orchestra offers an alternative route to the concert platform. ‘We’ll have 20 people playing two of the most popular piano duets – Handel’s 'Arrival of the Queen of Sheba' and one of Schubert’s Ländler, with a new piece being written by jazz pianist Richard Michael,’ says Brown, who is planning to be one of those brave enough to take part.
For chamber music and jazz aficionados, Piano Lounge, a new initiative taking place at various hours of the afternoon, offers Liam Noble and Euan Stevenson on jazz piano and a Saturday programme curated by Alasdair Beatson of ensemble music by Mozart, Debussy and Brahms. ‘’It will be very chilled,’ says Brown, ‘with something a bit edgier from Japanese pianist Maki Namekawa who plays all of the Etudes for Piano by Philip Glass’.
The Piano, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Thu 5–Sun 8 Nov