New Zealand International Piano Festival

Saturday 21 April 2012

New Zealand International Piano Festival

The New Zealand International Piano Festival runs from 21-26 April at Auckland Town Hall and with programmes spanning the range of piano repertoire – from Schubert to Anthony Ritchie, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Liszt – the festival celebrates the rich textures of the piano from steamy intensity to dreamy introspection.

And, as a special feature of this year’s festival, three pianists will perform concerts in Wellington and Invercargill.

New Zealand piano duettists Richard Mapp and Emma Sayers open the festival performing as piano duet (both playing one piano) and piano duo (with two pianos); while Russian-Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg performs a programme including Prokofiev and Rachmaninov on Sunday night.

On Tuesday, Chinese-born pianist Jian Liu’s programme includes the flamboyant, musical Parnassus of Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B minor, while on Wednesday the sensational Sofya Gulyak plays an all-Russian programme featuring Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. Sofya will also perform a concert at Adam Concert Room at Wellington’s Victoria University on Saturday 28 April.

Russian-trained pianists Oleg Stepanov and Natasha Vlassenko close the festival on Thursday topping and tailing their programme with duets from the French school – Debussy at the start and Ravel at the end, with the mighty Liszt in between. Oleg and Natasha will also perform a concert at the Civic Theatre in Invercargill on Sunday 29 April.

The New Zealand International Piano Festival was created in 2005 by internationally acclaimed concert pianist and Steinway artist Tamas Vesmas. His vision was to present a Piano Festival that would expose audiences to some of the world’s top concert pianists. As well as the concert series, the artists also perform special dinner concerts at Mollies, and conduct masterclasses for young New Zealand pianists.