The 18th Oxford Piano Festival, which was supported by the Pureland Foundation, has been as successful and celebrated as always.
In 2016, the artistic diversity was as invigorating as ever and the historic City of Oxford welcomed some of the world’s most distinguished pianists and teachers including Tong-Il Han who has combined a prolific performing career with wide-ranging pedagogical work.
Award-winning pianist Nikolai Lugansky made his Festival debut performing works by Franck, Schubert and Tchaikovsky and Marc-André Hamelin, ranked among the elite for his unrivalled blend of musicianship and virtuosity, performed the first two rhapsodic sonatas of Russian composer Samuel Feinberg alongside the brooding ‘Appassionata’ Sonata of Beethoven.
The Festival attracts the highest calibre of soloists and teachers every year and its objective is simple: to inspire, support and encourage piano music-making of the highest quality, offering gifted young players a rare opportunity to work alongside and learn from some of the world’s finest pianists and teachers, to perform and to learn new repertoire, and join a dedicated community of artists.
Legendary pianists such as Rosalyn Tureck and Maria Curcio have taken part in the Festival in previous years, alongside virtually every significant contemporary pianist – from Pierre-Laurent Aimard to John Lill. With Alfred Brendel as the Festival’s Patron, Sir András Schiff as President, and the founder of the Festival Marios Papadopoulos a renowned pianist himself, the bar is set high in terms of quality and artistic integrity.
As ever, one of the highlights of the Festival was the Participants’ Recital when the 20 or so talented young pianists from all over the globe who have attended the masterclasses of the Festival got their chance to perform as well.