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Birmingham Piano Festival

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
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BBC Young Musician winner to star in major piano festival
Birmingham is to host a major piano festival when some of the most highly-respected pianists around are joined by 17 exceptionally-talented young musicians at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire between June 15 and 18. The four-day International Piano Festival will see celebrated pianists Stephen Hough, Peter Frankl, Markus Groh, Boris Slutsky, Stephen Kovacevich, Margaret Fingerhut, John Thwaites and festival Artistic Director Pascal Nemirovski share music, expertise and knowledge with some of tomorrow's stars through concerts and master-classes. There will also be a guest appearance by the current BBC Young Musician winner Lauren Zhang, herself a student of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, which is part of Birmingham City University.

Lauren Zhang
BBC Young Musician winner Lauren Zhang

The festival begins on Saturday 15 June with a piano recital featuring performances by Stephen Kovacevich and John Thwaites, Boris Slutsky, Markus Groh, Peter Frankl and Conservatoire protégé Daniel Lebhardt. This will be followed by a day-long celebration of youthful talent on Monday 17 June with half hour back-to-back recitals featuring 17 pianists in repertoire from Scarlatti and Bach to Liszt and Messiaen. The musicians are a mix of Conservatoire students and other outstanding young artists personally invited from all over the world. Adjudicated by Peter Donohoe and BBC Radio 3 producer Emma Bloxham, three will be selected to take part in the Closing Gala, competing for a grand prize of £1,000.

The final day sees Coffee and Lunchtime concerts followed by the Young Artists' Closing Gala in which the three competition finalists will each perform and will also be joined by the 2018 BBC Young Musician winner, Lauren Zhang. Throughout the festival, masterclasses with Stephen Hough, Stephen Kovacevich, Margaret Fingerhut, John Thwaites and Pascal Nemirovski will pass on expertise to the next generation of exciting performers.

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire's Head of Keyboard Studies, Professor John Thwaites, says: "For five years now we have had the privilege of working with Professor Pascal Nemirovski, our International Chair in Piano. As Artistic Director of this festival, he has assembled a formidable faculty comprising some of the world's most distinguished performers and pedagogues, alongside an equally impressive line-up of those who blaze a trail for the next generation. Those who love the piano and its repertoire will surely want to join us in Birmingham this June." Royal Birmingham Conservatoire's International Piano Festival takes place from 15 to 18 June 2019. For full details of all public events and how to book, visit or call 0121 331 5909.
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Why? If you love piano, you'll certainly love this
When: June 15 - 18
Phone: 0121 331 5901
Where: Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, 200 Jennens Road, Birmingham B4 7XR
Cost: Price of concerts vary
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